September 20, 2011

The fear of public speaking

There's an interesting post on the fear of public speaking at Ed Brayton's blog today. If the topic interests you, you can hear Ed, Sam Harris and Mencken talking about it. Well, you can read what they say, anyway. Mencken had a funny take on the topic, turning it into a jab at writers. I found the post interesting.

I had to do far too much public speaking in my human rights work. I would always have a nervous breakdown beforehand, similar to the experience Sam Harris describes in the article. But I always found that when I began speaking, the fear disappeared. Still, the experience beforehand was so unpleasant that I will avoid public speaking for the remainder of my life.

Do you share this common fear?


cm said...

The last time I publicly spoke was at my fathers funeral mass. I was calm before I got up there but when I got up there it was weird. Everything changed. I remember being up there and getting to the point where I thought if I don't relax I'm going to explode. Thats when I gave in and relaxed. It wasn't fun at all.

writenow said...

I've found that if you're nervous beforehand, you'll be fine when you have to speak. But if you think you've got it in the bag, and you don't worry at all, you can get hysterical once you start speaking. So it's good to get nervous beforehand.