Overcoming fears of public speaking

Public speaking scares me, but I’m getting better at it.

Within the last fortnight, I’ve done two public readings of my work and they’ve both been very successful. I think it will be a case of the more readings I do, the more at ease I will feel.

I am told that even the most confident people get nervous when speaking publicly. It’s a natural fight-or-flight mechanism that we’ve all inherited through evolution, so we just have to work with it. But being nervous is a good thing because it shows that you actually care¬†about what you’re doing. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone give a half-arsed performance!

Nerves actually help you to perform better. With all of that adrenalin rushing through your body, you just do what needs to be done and lose yourself in the moment. But of course, being nervous can lead to stuttering, shaky hands or complete stage fright.

Personally, I like to get my nerves under control with a bit of deep breathing and meditation. It also helps to put aside your fears of other people judging you. Just remember that the majority of people struggle with public speaking (myself included), so you’re not alone.

I’ve got another public reading coming up soon, but I think that I’ll be okay. Recently, I’ve broken through some sort of invisible barrier and overcame my public speaking fears. I’ve discovered that getting nervous “puts you in the zone” and the inevitable adrenalin rush should be used to your advantage, not your detriment.

Here’s a video of me performing a passage from my first book, Pearl’s Hereafter. If I can do this, then so can you: