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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 1547 words Published: 15th Aug 2017

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Majority of people get performance anxiety when they need to make a speech in front of the audiences. According to Lake (2015), seventy-five percent of the population suffers from the fear of public speaking. Over time, people will try to avoid participating in any speeches as they feel nervous while speaking. In fact, there are few ways to overcome the fear of public speaking which are organizing the presentation, breathing exercises, and practicing more.


1st point: Organizing the presentation

The first way to overcome the fear of public speaking is by organizing the presentation (Golberg, 2016). There are several steps to organize the presentation. First of all, the speaker should understand the topic of the presentation and organize the information (Hall-Flavin, 2014). It is important to make sure that the information is correct, clear, and related to the topic in order to make fewer mistakes and not digress from the topic. The speaker should do research and get correct information from books, articles, journals and suitable website which are related to the topic. Secondly, the speaker can try to remember the arrangement of the speech (Martinuzzi, 2013). By remembering the arrangement, the organized information can help the speaker be more confident and remain in control during the presentation. For example, the speaker can use the presentation slides to help them remember the arrangement and reduce their fear of public speaking.

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Besides that, one of the reasons for the fear of public speaking is the speaker fear of receiving the questions (Martinuzzi, 2013). Before speaking in public, the speaker should prepare a list of potential questions from the audience (Martinuzzi, 2013). This can increase the speaker’s confidence reducing the fear of public speaking. In addition, another reason for the fear of public speaking is the anxiety that could cause the speaker to forget or disorganize the main points. Therefore, the speakers can make a cue card with the main points and ideas (Goldberg, 2016). However, the main point must be in point form and not in essay form. The cue card helps the speaker to avoid forgetting the main points and reduces their fear of giving a presentation on stage. In short, these steps in planning a presentation can help the speaker to be prepared for public speaking with a more confident and relaxed attitude.


2nd point: Breathing exercises

The fear of public speaking can be overcome and eliminated by learning breathing exercises. Breathing is a useful tool for relaxing and refreshing the mind as it is something that people are able to control and regulate. There are several methods for breathing exercises. Speaker can take the time to inhale and exhale before starting the speech(Weil, 2016). Taking a deep breath before start the speech can lower the speaker’s stress level and reduce anxiety. For example, stage fright can be a significant hurdle to the speaker that wanted to share the information with the audiences. Therefore, breathing can increase self-confidence and enhance the speaker’s voice to be louder. Moreover, try to breathe normally and comfortably when speaking too fast (Peters, 2010). Generally, people who are nervous will speed up their speaking instead of enunciating the sentences properly because they are trying to end the speech sooner. Focusing on breathing can not only calm the speaker but also a powerful relaxation technique for the speaker to continue the speech with better performance. Furthermore, pause and breathe between the points during the speechis another way to overcome the fear of speaking (Nuumburg, n.d). For instance, take a breath after an idea is given out and introducing another with few second later can rebuild the speaker’s confidence and undoubtedly, it can manage and release fear. In fact, it will also sustain the physical capacity for the speaker to talk for a long time. The benefits of breathing exercises are both physical and psychological. Thus, learning to breathe naturally the benefits will be enormous for reduce the fear when they having a speech.


3rd point: Practice more

The most common way the speaker can overcome the fear of public speaking is more practice. For practice public speaking, they have to understand their speaking material so that can prepare well to deliver the speak (Martinuzzi, 2013). Practice can help them to understand their speech but not memorize it. When practicing public speaking in the home, they can practice in front of the mirror (Sahay, 2016). This is the most effective way because it is able to help them to pay attention to their posture, gestures, movement and facial expressions. Gentle expressions will gain the audiences’ attention and they will concentrate to their speech. Moreover, they can record their speech by using a video camera and watching it in order to make corrections easily (Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, 2014).

Furthermore, they can try practicing public speaking in front of an audience. Looking for an audience to evaluate to their performance. They can also join a club that can give them opportunities to speak in front of the audience, such as Toastmaster. Toastmaster is a communication and leadership development organization worldwide (Toastemasters International, n.d.) It is a great place for people to practice public speaking because the people who study with the program will give them valuable advice (Gray, n.d.). More practice with public speaking will help them gain more experience. Thus, they will feel more comfortable when speaking in front the audience and no fear.



In conclusion, public speaking is a form of communication to share one’s thoughts to influence others. It is a need to everyone regardless for education or career purpose. Preparation is very important as good preparation can overcome one’s fear and increase their confident level towards a success performance. People will be benefited by having several keys in their pocket to overcome the fear of public speaking.



Lake, R. (2015, April 28). Fear of Public Speaking Statistics and How to Overcome Glossophobia. Retrieved from creditdonkey: https://www.creditdonkey.com/fear-of-public-speaking-statistics.html

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Hall-Falvin, D. K. (2014, February 25). Fear of public speaking: How can I overcome it?

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Goldberg, D. F. (2016, November 10) Teacher: How to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking.               Retrieved from http://www.teachingvillage.org/2016/11/10/teachers-overcome-your-fear-of-public-speaking-by-david-f-goldberg/

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Weil, A. (2016, May). Three Breathing Exercises. Retrieved February 18, 2017, from Dr. Weil Web site: https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/stress-anxiety/breathing-three-exercises/

Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M. (2014, February 25). Mayoclinic. Retrieved from Fear of public speaking: How can I overcome it?: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/specific-phobias/expert-answers/fear-of-public-speaking/faq-20058416

Gray, C. M. (n.d.). How I (Finally) Got Over My Fear of Public Speaking. Retrieved from themuse: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-i-finally-got-over-my-fear-of-public-speaking

Martinuzzi, B. (2013). Open forum. Retrieved from 11 Easy Ways to Finally Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/easiest-ways-to-manage-your-public-speaking-fear-2/

Sahay, U. (2016, December). Enzuke. Retrieved from How To Overcome The Fear Of Public Speaking: http://www.enzuke.com/how-to-overcome-fear-public-speaking/amp/

Toastemasters International. (n.d.). Retrieved from Who We Are: https://www.toastmasters.org/About/Who-We-Are


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