3 Thoughts I Learned to Beat for Better Public Speaking

Facing fears of public speaking? Discover the three common thoughts that can hold you back and the strategies to overcome them.

3 Thoughts I Learned to Beat for Better Public Speaking
Public speaking, though scary, is very fun and fulfilling.

Have you ever had that gut-wrenching feeling right after finishing a public presentation, regretting that you could have done so much better if you were calm? You're not alone!

I have, and it happens every time!

No matter how big or small the setting is, standing up to talk in front of a crowd is scary.

I spoke in school assemblies, city competitions, and even Asian speaking contests, but my fear never completely went away.

But why is that?

It's because of these 3 horrible thoughts I keep on having right before giving a public speech:

  • "People will see my awkwardness and hate me."
  • "The person before/after me is much better; why would the audience want me?"
  • "My speech is not that good. Let's change it last minute."

These thoughts can cripple confidence, but I gradually learned ways to combat them; let me share with you:

1. "People Will See My Awkwardness and Hate Me"

It's natural to fear judgment, especially when all eyes are on you. The audience can definitely spot nervousness, but here's the truth: They're human too.

Most people empathize with the speaker's anxiety. They're not there to ridicule but to listen and learn.

"The best thing I can do is give my audience a great time and new insights. The worst that can happen? A few chuckles at my expense."

This mindset shifts the focus from the self to the audience.

What value can you provide? How can you make it enjoyable for them? Concentrate on these questions, and the pressure lessens.

2. "The Person Before/After Me is Much Better; Why Would the Audience Want Me?"

Comparison is a common trap. But remember, every speaker brings something unique to the table. Also, things are much better when viewed differently:

  • If the speaker before you is engaging, they set a positive tone. Ride that wave!
  • If the speaker after you is fantastic, any minor mistakes you make will be overshadowed.

Use others' success to your advantage, not as a standard to beat.

In addition, engage with fellow speakers; share your fears and excitement! You'll find camaraderie and encouragement.

3. "I Think My Speech is Not That Good. Let's Change It Last Minute."

Last-minute changes often stem from insecurity and can lead to disaster.

Trust in the preparation.

Invest time in crafting your speech. Know it inside out, be passionate about it, and stick with it. Rehearse with friends, record yourself, seek feedback, and refine.

80% of my public speaking confidence comes from knowing my material and rehearsing until it feels right.

At the end of the day, no matter how many mistakes I made or how embarrassed I felt, I learned to pat myself on the back for being brave. I know my future self will appreciate it.

If you're nervous about public speaking like me and happen to read this write-up, I hope you can pick up a little courage to put yourself out there. It's fun, fulfilling, and we can all gradually improve with lots of practice.