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One of the Greatest Fears of Public Speaking is. . .

Updated: Jan 28

Public Speaking

“I’ve Got Nothing to Talk About!”

“The audience probably knows way more than I do about the topic. If they don’t fall asleep during my presentation, they’ll be fidgeting, checking email, and looking at the clock, hoping I’ll soon conclude.”

That is a major fear many have when it comes to public speaking. They are concerned they’ll embarrass themselves. That anxiety goes hand-in-glove with the Fear of Failure.

Nonsense! When it comes to Topics for Public Speaking, Everyone has knowledge and experiences many would love to hear and would benefit from!

Great Tip! I got this from Mark Brown, the 1995 Toastmaster Champion of Public Speaking.

Take out your cell phone and open up the Camera Roll and Photo Apps.

Start scrolling! I’ll bet you could tell a story about many of those great pictures, right! Of course! You were somewhere with someone doing something and there is a story to tell. Remember: It’s all about the Story! You have many!

Let me tell you a story. I teach a Continuing Ed class on Public Speaking. It’s two nights, two hours per night. I speak the first night and students give mini-presentations a week later.

I once had a class of inner-city church ladies, and it was their night to give their presentations. They were great! I was really impressed.

One lady waited until everyone else had spoken. She stood up, started walking to the front of the room, then stopped and said, “I’ve got nothing to talk about.” She started to sit down.

“Wait a minute,” I said.

“Before we started class didn’t I hear you telling some of your classmates you speak to kids every day.”

“I do,” she said.

“What do you tell them?” I asked.

She replied, “Well, I tell them to keep away from gangs, don’t do drugs, and work hard.”

“That’s good stuff!” I said.

“How many children do you have?

She said, “I have six.”

“Wow, big family!”

“What are those kids doing today?” I asked.

She paused for a moment, and said, “Well, four are in college, and . . .”

“Wait a minute. Stop right there! 

You have four kids in college! I’ve got a feeling there are children in your neighborhood who don’t go to high school.

“You have four kids in college and told this class you don’t have anything to talk about!

“We’ve got to hear how you did that!”

Everyone in the class responded the way I did.

Isn’t that a great story! This incident is not unique. It happens all the time in classes I teach and with clients I coach.

One of the ways to find, “What to talk about,” is to work with at least one other person.

When coaching clients, I Listen and Ask Questions, so they hear themselves!

  • Ask questions like: What did you learn from that?

  • What happened next?

  • What will you do differently the next time that happens?

  • So what?

  • Why would anyone want to hear that story?

From now on. . . No more, Nothing to talk about, excuses for not giving a presentation.

This stuff works!

Us it, and next time, make YOUR next presentation – NO SWEAT!


Pausing is a key component of presenting.

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books,“NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and“NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, andPresentation Skills.

They do this because they know:"Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities."

They also know:We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. We like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver Fantastic Presentations! with – NO SWEAT!


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  • Personal and Group Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching

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