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How do you deal with public speaking/confidence issues

  • 26-08-2021 9:26pm
    Registered Users Posts: 56 ✭✭ DullSpark

    Hey folks, going to try keep this short and sweet.

    I have a serious problem with public speaking, if I'm talking and more then 2 people outside of family or close friends makes me really uncomfortable. Can't pinpoint where it came from, have never been that person who just says what's on their mind but seem to be more aware of it as the years go on. So much so that I think it could actually be social anxiety. I analyse everything, thinking about how people might react before talking

    Anyways I feel it is having a bad affect on my lifestyle and in particular holding me back career wise.

    I see answers on Google like do public speaking classes or cognitive behavioural therapy but has anyone found or can suggest other ways of over coming this 'fear'?

    Post edited by The Black Oil on


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,627 ✭✭✭✭ Esel

    Toastmasters might be a good idea, even if Google thinks so too.

    Not your ornery onager

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 17,803 CMod ✭✭✭✭ The Black Oil

    Moved from Psychology. The Personal Issues forum charter (rules) now applies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,088 ✭✭✭ PMBC

    If you find Toastmasters too formal- even though it isn't - there are meet ups in Dublin weekly for public speaking. Its a slightly different format, smaller and might be more appealing. Venues are Northside near Smithfield and Southside Ranelagh area - google to find.

    One of the posters above made a very important point - people are not over interested in you and the moment will pass. A ploy I found to be very helpful, although counterintuitive, is to pause as if you are 'stuck' and look at your audience. You are then the one in control -when and whether to restart. You will find you, the speaker, are in control, and that the fear is not in control of you. Until you become confident preparation is very important. Best of luck from someone who had a dread of it but now enjoys it whenever the opportunity presents itself. Its one of the most common fears people have so you are not alone (at this stage).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 541 ✭✭✭ brownbinman

    From a young age I had a stammer. Not the worst by any means but was there. HATED public speaking like reading in class

    Anyway, by about 18 I came to the conclusion I couldn't give a continental fcuk what anyone thought of me or what I was saying. Not for everyone that method but since then I've had no problems with best men speeches, lecturing or important work presentations

    Remember, people on the whole want the best for you. I've never done Toastmasters but heard it's excellent

    Try to grow into the speech/presentation and enjoy it

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 4,667 Mod ✭✭✭✭ HildaOgdenx

    You might find it helpful to talk to a therapist, to explore the anxiety, if that is what it is, and work on strategies to improve your confidence. There certainly are ways, as mentioned in previous posts of working on public speaking skills. In terms of work, there also are courses to help with interview skills, if that is an area where you feel a bit unsure.

    I remember reading once that we are often comparing our own insides with every one else's outsides, which stuck with me. So while others can appear effortlessly confident and at ease, they too might be experiencing doubts about themselves and what they are doing or saying. They have just managed to cover it up, or make the nerves work for them rather than against them.

    Being a good listener is a skill too, that should never be underrated.

  • Registered Users Posts: 541 ✭✭✭ brownbinman

    excellent advice from Hilda

  • Registered Users Posts: 56 ✭✭ DullSpark

    Thank you everyone for all your detailed feedback. Some very useful bits ye have highlighted to me there. I don't have any best man speech coming up, and don't need public speaking for work as such as I am in construction but would to just love to be able to engage with people rather then avoid because I'm worried they will think I'm an oddball or someone else will listen in and think the same thing. I will definitely check out that toast master as well as public speaking classes as mentioned above.