Public Speaking Anxiety

Public Speaking


The words Anxiety of Public Speaking doesn’t sound as scary as it is. The video is more accurate of how anxiety really  feels.

When I stand up to speak this is me. I have an urge to run screaming as far from the danger zone.

You know the zone? The place where a person stands and 80+ eyes look at you in anticipation of learning or being entertained?

I have an event I’ll be speaking at Ministry for Kids workshop in January. Thankfully  God –in His humorous way– made my co-author and co-speaker a therapist. I’m hoping she can talk me down from the ceiling as the chairs fill with people.

This should be easy for me. I’ve had training to speak in front of people. I taught school (but they were little ones!) and lead Bible studies.

I’ve been on the radio and videoed, but it doesn’t get easier for me.

I spend a lot of time in fear before the event. The bonus is that I should lose a few pounds, or yikes it could swing the other way and I’ll buy boxes of Pamela’s Gluten Free Cookies!!!

Any tips you all can share with me? I’d be grateful to learn away around, over or through this fear.


About Diana Brandmeyer

Christian author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer writes historical and contemporary romances set from the Midwest to the Mountains. She’s written Mind of Her Own, Frontier Legacy Brides, Small Town Brides, and A Time for Love, among others. Once widowed and now remarried she writes with humor and experience on the difficulty of joining two families be it fictional or real life. *affiliate links are used on this site. It won't cost you more but those extra pennies keep me stocked in tea, thank you!

24 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Public speaking! Ugh! Always my biggest fear. I make such a big deal out of it in my head, then when I get up there it all disappears as soon as I open my mouth! LOL! Love all the suggestions above! Great post, Diana!

    1. So true Linda, once it is done I wonder what was the big deal? Then the next time comes and I’m back in the fear seat. Hmm, maybe I should do it more often. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  2. Hi Diana, I used to be a bit anxious about speaking, but not anymore. Hmmm, allow me to clarify that a bit. I’m not anxious about speaking anymore UNLESS its for a group/organization within my own community. I can speak in other cities or counties and not have one butterfly – but when I speak to a room filled with people I know – I go weak in the knees and my mouth just says whatever it wants.

    And Deb, above, mentioned the 60/30 second commercial. Ugggg. Do I hate them or what?

    Eydie 🙂

    1. Eydie,
      That is so true about speaking in front of those that know you. I did a skit in church a few years ago and I have to say instead of seeing eyes of love I saw eyes of judgement. (not really –my persception!)

      1. Glad I’m not the only one it happens to. But, you’re right – eyes of judgement.

        I’m presenting an email marketing workshop in my town this morning, So far, most of the attendees are people I don’t know. Wish me luck!

        Eydie 🙂

  3. Diana, I’ve been acting since I was a child and I still get nervous when I step on to the stage. But I find it energizing! The only time it’s a bad thing is if I’m not prepared.

    I’ve coached a few people in public speaking and performance and I tell them the audience wants them to succeed. And if they mess up, just keep going. Often no one will know unless it shows on your face. But if you do fumble and stutter and lose your place, the next best thing you can do is have a sense of humor about it. “Laugh and the world laughs with you …”

    1. Shayron,
      Again, good suggestions! Of course the audience wants me to suceed that’s why they are there and yet I overlooked that component.
      Thank you,

  4. I have taught school to 4, 7th and 9th grade. They others are right, it is not about you. Ask God to help when you speak, and everything will be alright.

  5. Diana, I’m a former teacher, too–middle school and high school, so I’m used to adult sized bodies 😉 . I’ve also spoken at a few teacher conventions and there are a couple things I learned.

    First, ask God to remind you that you are serving your audience. It’s not really about you–it’s about them. (Remember, Paul said he didn’t come to believers with eloquence of speech. It wasn’t about him being so great in his presentation).

    Beyond a renewed way of looking at your speech, there are also a couple practical things that have helped me. I try to be in the room a bit early and get used to being up front. I acquaint myself with the mike and any tech things I’ll be using. All that’s important, but more so, as people begin to arrive, I greet them and talk to them. (I’ve been to those conventions so know the kinds of questions to ask them). When I start speaking, then, I feel as if it’s more like a continuation of the conversations I’ve started.

    Finally, smile (laugh if you can). I know it sounds simplistic, but there actually is an endorphin that is released in our body that will help calm all that adrenalin the anticipation of speaking has created. And remember “nerves” is really only a chemical.

    Being anxious when you speak, then anticipating the anxiety next time only creates more anxiousness. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I suggest focusing from now until your speech on all the good things about this–not a single negative. Thank God for the opportunity, for each person He’ll bring, for the venue and the organizers, for your co-author, for a voice and a brain, for whatever else is appropriate. Thank Him He’s going to use you. In the end you might find yourself more excited than anxious.

    Hope this helps in some small way.


    1. Becky, it does help. I would have waited in the front of the room until time to speak.
      I will take your advice and start thinking postive when the fear hits. I willgive thanks and pray for those attending. Should have thought of that 🙁

  6. I share your fear, and I also used to teach, but in further education and adult ed, so I was talking to adults. I also used to belong to a networking group and the 60-second pitch never got easier either. Speak slowly, breathe deeply, look towards the back of the room until your nerves settle a bit, which they will once you get started, then you can start making eye contact with people. I find looking directly at people too soon puts me off my stride even more than the hammering heart. Good luck. You CAN do this. Great video, btw.
    Deb (from the blog challenge)

    1. Deb! Thank you! I’d forgotten about the back of the room trick. That does work for me.
      Yeah, that video cracks me up.

  7. I’ll try again. My comments disappear from here.

    I am certain it will go very well, much better than you think. Because you know, that you know.

  8. How do they say, a touch of fear is always good to stop one from thinking one can do everything oneself.
    Wishing all that is good for you in this!

  9. I know what you mean. I’ve been singing before audiences for years now, but I still experience some anxiety, trepidation and a certain bit of fear. Although I lean hard on The Lord to feel thoroughly calm, He doesn’t give it until I’m immersed in the song, body and soul. When the subject matter we’re presenting engulfs us and takes our mind over, everything else takes a back seat.
    I wish I could say that it gets easier. I have also found that without that trepidation and fear, I wouldn’t rely on God as much as I do. I hope that helps some.

    1. Patricia,
      It does help. I’ve read that even big name actressess are scared when they go on stage but they say it make them better.

      As long as I’m prepared I should be okay–once I get started. 🙂

    1. Heidi,
      I’ve thought about Toastmasters but I’m not sure I can even make it through the door because I know what is expected.

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