large__5310002921 (1)One of the most common reasons for public speaking nerves is our fear of making a mistake in front of others. Maybe we’ll dry up, or say something stupid or …  

In other words, we are scared to let others to see that we are anything less than perfect.

Interestingly, some of the best speakers I know are rarely perfect. They are human, like the rest of us.  They have the courage to show what’s behind the mask.

The big difference is they are less concerned about what other people think of them than you are. They have learned to accept their own vulnerability, and this is the secret of their success. As my friend Richard Wilkins says, “perfection isn’t connection“.  Speakers who are willing to risk showing their vulnerability understand that when we allow ourselves to make mistakes we give others permission to risk making mistakes too. If we are human, we give others permission to be human too.

Remember that:

  • The fear of doing something is always worse than actually doing it.
  • Most of what we FEAR will never actually happen

But what if I do dry up or say something silly?

Just repeat after me these two magic words!   “So what!”

Is it really the end of the world?  Have you ever heard of somebody getting killed for forgetting what they were going to say?  It’s amazing the effect a little reality check can make.

So I challenge you to accept your humanity and all that it brings. True courage is accepting ourselves, warts and all and still speaking our truth without fear.  Accept this truth and your public speaking nerves will wither, and confidence will blossom within you in its place.

photo credit: PhotKing ♛ via photopin cc


  1. robert pattirson on 03/06/2013 at 14:56

    That’s a really nice post about presentation skills. That’s most common issue that people get nervous when the time come to do public speaking. Fear keeps us stuck and stop us to achieve success.

    • Gavin Meikle on 12/06/2013 at 19:08

      Thanks Robert. Why not sign up and get regular new posts emailed straight to your inbox.

  2. Helen Bowcock on 20/03/2013 at 13:16

    Fab info, thanks Gavin.

    • Gavin Meikle on 20/03/2013 at 16:04

      Thanks Helen. It’s great to receive feedback. Please feel free to share any additional thoughts, examples or ideas around this theme.

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