5 Quotes To Help Overcome The Fear Of Public Speaking


5 Quotes To Help Overcome The Fear Of Public Speaking

Creating an engaging and exciting presentation isn’t something that comes easy to everyone.In fact, according to the Washington Post, the biggest phobia in the entire country is public speaking – with over 25 percent of Americans afraid to speak in front of large groups of people. Although that might not seem like that many people, let’s get some perspective here. 25 percent of the U.S. population equates to almost 80 million people, or ten times the entire population of New York City. Peoples’ fear of public speaking beat out that of drowning, needles, snakes, heights, and even clowns.So take a look at some quotes by people who really knew how to work a stage and own a presentation. Melt your public speaking fear away with these five nuggets of knowledge.

On Making Your Point

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time — a tremendous whack.” – Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was arguably one of history’s best public speakers and most notable figures. The British Prime Minister was known for his inspirational speeches and witty comments. Here he’s saying that you need to throw subtlety to the wind, and if you have a point to make – make it. There is absolutely no need to waste anyone’s time. Cut to the meat of your presentation and leave the filler at the door.

On Preparation

“Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes was an American poet and author, he wrote on a wide range of topics, but was also a famous scholar and lecturer. Here, Holmes is making the point to be clear about the words you say and how you say them. Oliver Wendell Holmes was noted for appearing to be off the cuff with his lectures, yet they were well rehearsed. Preparation is a key factor to a good speech or presentation, a point he reiterated in his life over and over.

On Passion

“The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.” — Lady Bird Johnson

Claudi Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson was a highly active First Lady with a very public presence, yet was rather reserved in her private life. The best way to get over your fears or social anxieties when it comes to presenting, performing, or leading a public event is to become so engrossed in the message you’re trying to convey that it becomes impossible to even consider what others might be thinking.

Passion is infectious and will spread like wildfire if it’s genuine.

On Pushing Yourself

“A book may give you excellent suggestions on how best to conduct yourself in the water, but sooner or later you must get wet …”  — Dale Carnegie

One of the original creators of the Self-Help genre, Dale Carnegie was a master orator and lecturer. He wrote the famous book “How to Win Friends & Influence People” which stated that no matter how many books you read and what understanding you think you have on certain concepts, you will never be able to gauge that knowledge until you actually go out and put it into practice.

On the Value of Fear

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.”— Mark Twain

 The famed satirical wizard Mark Twain also once said that people who gave speeches were either nervous or liars. Twain suffered from immense stage fright, which is why much of his work is written. Here he is saying that true courage is the ability to be afraid of something, yet do it anyways.

There are many ways to make your presentation great (supporting your content with pictures, GIFS or even using software add-ons that insert video in PowerPoint for you), but they all begin and end with your confidence levels and how you present them. As they say after all, there is nothing to fear but fear itself!

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Irene Fenswick

Thank you for this great selection of quotes. I’m really inspired.