How to Tame Speaking Terror

That was Eva’s first words when she introduced herself. Even with her terror, she was there to learn. Instead of her standing in front of the workshop participants, we set the chairs in a circle and I asked her questions based on her speech script. For Eva, this worked. At sessions #4, she’d gained the confidence to take her place in front of the room and deliver her message.

Talk Tip: If public speaking “terrifies you,” create small and safe incremental steps to increase your confidence – like: read a poem or make a toast at a dinner party, ask a question at a public meeting or walking tour, work with a speaking coach or create a “speaking circle” – a group of 3-4 friends for the purpose of improving public speaking. You’ll build a foundation of experience, grow more confident and maybe even move beyond “terror” to what most of us experience, “nervousness.”