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The Fear of Public Speaking is a Different Kind of . . .

Updated: Jan 16

Fear of Failure.

The Fear of Public Speaking and the Fear of Failure go hand-in-glove.

The Fear of Failure keeps many from attempting new things, especially if we believe others will become aware we failed. If they do, they might think less of us as a person, Correct?

Probably not, but that “head trash” often holds many captive from attempting something we would really like to do.

It’s a fact: Failing is a great way to learn new things.

Think about it. If you get something right the first time, you probably don’t give it a second thought. It might have been ‘dumb luck’ it worked when first attempted. It’s when things don’t go as planned that we stop, figure out why, try something different, and continue that process until we get it right. At that point, we’ve learned something new!

Some Failing is Easy.

  1. If I get a new software program, I might lock myself in a room and go through the tutorial until I am proficient and comfortable with my goals for my new purchase. It may take me two or three times longer to reach that skill level than someone else, but no one knows but me!

  2. The same is true if I decide to tackle solving a Rubik’s Cube.

  3. I’d probably give up, but no one knows but me!

Some Failing is Tough.

  1. Board games, sports, and tests in school can be events where we don’t win, and some might consider Failing. A relatively few number of people will know, and they probably don’t care.

Some Failing is Tough, Really Tough!

  1. Public Speaking falls into this category because, well, it is PUBLIC!

  2. You’re out in front of the world for everyone to see.

  3. There’s nowhere to hide.

  4. You’re all alone and feel extremely vulnerable!

TO DOS to Lessen that Fear:

  1. Know your stuff, and know it really well.

  2. There will be “confidence in your competence” that will come through to your audience. Their positive body language to the information you’re presenting will lower your angst.

  3. Arrive early!

  4. Knowing your slides, mic, remote, and all other tech stuff is working, lowers stress.

  5. Have backups of your talk in the cloud, on flash drives, and in different formats; i.e. keynote, power point, and PDF. Also have the talk and slides on a hard copy.

  6. Those “spare tires,” even if never needed, lower stress.

  7. Meet & Greet guests as they arrive, thanking them for attending your talk.

  8. This is an excellent way to lessen nervousness because it is much easier to talk to an audience after already meeting them.

  9. Remember this about your audience.

  10. They want you to succeed. They came to learn something, not to see you.

  11. Be audience centered. It’s about them, not you.

  12. This is one of the Laws of Presentation.

  13. Practice it and the quality of your talk will go up and your anxiety down.

  14. Most are glad you are presenting, and not them.

  15. Seventy-five percent have a fear of public speaking and don’t want to trade places with you!

  16. Practice – Practice – Practice.

  17. I coach people for TED Talks and the rule of thumb is: One hour of preparation for every minute of presentation.

Follow this advice and your next presentation will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!


Pausing is a key component of presenting.

About the AuthorFred 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!


  1. Keynote Speaker

  2. Workshop Facilitator

  3. Breakout Sessions

  4. Personal and Group Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching

  1. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  2. We are All Self-Employed!

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