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Terrified of public speaking so much it's unhealthy

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    I'm quite a shy and quiet person I've always liked being in the background but there is just on issue I have a major fear of public speaking, even in from of 5-6 people my voice shakes my heart RACES, and I sweat. I get so nervous I can actually feel me heart pounding inside me as it terrifies me, I counted my pulse and it was about 190 bpm and thats like half an hour before the actual time I have to do the speech/presentation

    I simply cannot deal with it I hardly sleep the night before I get so worried, so nervous and I am dreading the presentation I have to do, I always try and 'be confident' and try to believe in myself but I just can't calm myself down when I'm nervous.

    And also I keep going through conversations in my head I have already had thinking of what I should've said I feel so socially awkward and want to stop being so shy and nervous when I'm talking to people but I don't know what to do, I even sweat a little when I'm nervous and I always get nervous even when talking to people, it's okay with new people but with people I know it is worse I feel like they'll think I'm weird or awkward I feel out of place and it is bothering me especially this presentation and my nerves getting to me I don't know what to do
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    I used to be a lot like you - really shy and tried to avoid human contact at all costs except from close family. this was because I feared being judged and being seen as a freak, or 'wierd or awkward' as you put it. To put it simpy the more you think they will judge you the more they will judge you because you will be showing obvious signs of not wanting to talk to them etc.
    My advice for when it comes public speaking is to rehearse what you are going to say until it is fool proof- then you can have confidence in it. Then ACT ridiculously confident, I mean like you couldn't care in the world, and practice this. As you become louder/speak up more in class or with your friends you WILL become more confident.

    to finish, understand why you are getting nervous - a fear of being judged. Then question, why am I being stupidly scared of being judged - this is SO STUPID! do this before you speak to people and soon you will find you don't care what they think. Also when talking to people, really think/ concentrate on what they are saying because as you concentrate on what they saying you will forget you are being judged.
    you should read this interesting article on introverts and extroverts, I consider myself an introvert:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17510163
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    I'm just like you when it comes to presentations, it's really really terrible and I hate it. I also used to be quite socially awkward but now I've improved. I would definitely say the key to both of these things is confidence. Now I feel more confident as a person I think I could say that I'm gaining more confidence with public speaking now, although I'm not 100% fine yet, still get the shakes but as I said I'm getting better.
    My experience is that you have to kind of get confidence and social experience outside of school (well I'm guessing your at school) because you said it's around those people that make you nervous but your fine with new people. You need to literally throw yourself out there into social situations that you may not be entirely comfortable with, to eventually get yourself used to things. Try and make friends with people that share hobbies with you outside the school environment. Sure it'll be a weird at first and yes you may still mess up because that's what socially awkward people do, but you sure as hell will reap the benefits afterwards. Me and my friend were both socially awkward at the same time but I chose to improve myself whilst she didn't, and she's the one that still has trouble making friends and is still very socially awkward at an age were you can't really afford to be. So yes, confidence. Get rid of the social insecurities and then you will gradually feel better as a person, and be more confident as a person which will eventually lead you to getting better at presentations. It probably will take alot of time, it did for me but it works. However for the public speaking if you kinda want help NOW whilst you try and work on your confidence you could always visit your GP and try to get to referred to someone, or just search online for groups that help with public speaking.
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    (Original post by Lostfish)
    I'm quite a shy and quiet person I've always liked being in the background but there is just on issue I have a major fear of public speaking, even in from of 5-6 people my voice shakes my heart RACES, and I sweat. I get so nervous I can actually feel me heart pounding inside me as it terrifies me, I counted my pulse and it was about 190 bpm and thats like half an hour before the actual time I have to do the speech/presentation

    I simply cannot deal with it I hardly sleep the night before I get so worried, so nervous and I am dreading the presentation I have to do, I always try and 'be confident' and try to believe in myself but I just can't calm myself down when I'm nervous.

    And also I keep going through conversations in my head I have already had thinking of what I should've said I feel so socially awkward and want to stop being so shy and nervous when I'm talking to people but I don't know what to do, I even sweat a little when I'm nervous and I always get nervous even when talking to people, it's okay with new people but with people I know it is worse I feel like they'll think I'm weird or awkward I feel out of place and it is bothering me especially this presentation and my nerves getting to me I don't know what to do

    I'm quite like you. I'm not so shy around people I know, but I still feel uncomfortable talking to people I don't. Public speaking is a bit of a phobia of mine as well. I don't know what happens. My voice shakes, and my hands and legs shake, and I feel so breathless... like, I literally can't breathe and can't get my words out. It's a horrible feeling, but there are some things you can do to improve it.

    Unlike what other people might suggest I don't think that memorising and rehearsing what you are going to say over and over again is the best thing to do. Every time I have done that it has been worse. It's much better imo, to make a bullet point list of the ideas you want to discuss, and in what order, and then just improvise when you're doing it. It makes it flow so much more naturally, and it'll seem more like a conversation. It takes the pressure off - reciting isn't a natural thing to do! Also, you don't risk your mind completely blanking out. No matter how many weeks I rehearsed my speeches for, I would forget certain parts in the moment.

    Also, practice honestly helps so so much. In year 8, I was elected 'manager' of this 6-week project thing where I had to make speeches to the rest of my class every lesson and organise everything they did. This forced me to interact with people I felt extremely shy around. It was really uncomfortable for me in the beginning, I was just so so nervous, and absolutely rubbish at giving speeches to them! However, by the end of the 6 weeks it just felt like I was having a conversation with my best friend. It feels so much easier, and I didn't feel nervous or embarrassed. If you PRACTICE then I can assure you that it will improve! Just force yourself to! (However, I've kind of reverted back to my nervous ways after I didn't really do any public speaking for 2/3 years after that...)

    Also, don't think of yourself as 'inferior' to everyone. I think that is my problem. I always think that everyone is judging me and is so much better than me, and it makes me feel so intimidated and nervous. But you're not inferior to everyone - you're equal. You should never be made to feel anything different! (Also, what I also found helped me to become more outgoing with classmates/other people was listening to Eminem. It honestly really helped - his views/attitude helped me to not care as much what other people thought of me! People actually used to tell me I had 'no social skills'... because I was just so nervous around everyone but my best friends. This has largely changed now though.)

    Good luck! Hope this helped a little bit

    By the way, how old are you?
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    (Original post by patrickinator)
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    Thanks for the article it was quite interesting
    But it's just that I feel like yeah today I'm not going to care what anyone thinks it isn't important I'm just going to be me, but then when it comes down to it I lose my confidence it's just so much easier to try, but then I always fail, but I will keep trying I won't stop!


    (Original post by oElectronic)
    I'm just like you when it comes to presentations..

    Thanks it nice to have people who understand what it's like. I have a friend who used to be like me she abolutely hated presentations but now she's improved so much her confidence has increased it's kinda shocking she was just like me once. I'm like your friend in this situation...

    The problem is every time I try not to care or be judged and to try being confident just one little comment about me from someone puts me down argh

    (Original post by ummm)
    I'm quite like you...
    Wow thanks it did help, I'm 17 by the way, It's really weird I have never actually thought I see myself as inferior to everyone else but I do I really do think other people are better than me and I'm just the strange one in the class. ir eally need to overcome that, yeah it's a horrible fear my legs shake too it gets so bad especially when you've done a bad presentation in the past and it just gets worse from then on because I only remember the bad ones

    Yeah I'm forcing myself to do EPQ it is an extended project qualification where I'll be doing a presentatio in front of a lot of people on a whole project I've done and the fact a presentation is involved is putting me off but I know I really should do it.
    And Snap. I listen to Eminem too Got his album Deffo going to listen to some more songs now
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    Thanks it nice to have people who understand what it's like. I have a friend who used to be like me she abolutely hated presentations but now she's improved so much her confidence has increased it's kinda shocking she was just like me once. I'm like your friend in this situation...

    The problem is every time I try not to care or be judged and to try being confident just one little comment about me from someone puts me down argh
    Well that's why I said you need to work on your general confidence and self esteem, so that you don't let those comments get to you, or at the very least not as much. No one likes bad comments said about them but it's how you deal with it, those people who make those comments are probably extremely immature anyway. Obviously it'll take a while to get used to the whole thing as I said before...but I hope all goes well though in the end!
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    I have the same problem, even answering a question in my larger classes brings my pulse rate up and makes my mouth go completely dry. I want to do the extended project but as soon as our head of sixth form said "give a presentation" my stomach dropped, I don't want it to stop me as I've got really good ideas for it but the thought of speaking in front of 30+ people fills me with dread!
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    Basically, the more you do it the better you'll become. Make sure you are well prepared and practice your presentation in the room if possible, otherwise make sure you've spoken it out loud as much as possible so you know exactly what you're going to say. You might want to try some calming techniques (google?!) for before the presentation. If possible, do something completely different to keep your mind off it until you have to give the presentation.
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    I used to be terrified of public speaking too but I recently bought a great book by someone called Dee Clayton called Taming Your Public Speaking Monkeys. She called those voices in your head which tell you you can't do it 'monkeys' and encourages you to communicate with and tame your monkeys. It really makes so much sense and I now feel completely differently about talking in public and doing presentations.

    You can find out about the book here: http://www.deeclayton.com/page/overc...self-help-book

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by ca-lb.19)
    I have the same problem, even answering a question in my larger classes brings my pulse rate up and makes my mouth go completely dry. I want to do the extended project but as soon as our head of sixth form said "give a presentation" my stomach dropped, I don't want it to stop me as I've got really good ideas for it but the thought of speaking in front of 30+ people fills me with dread!
    Sorry I know this is a late reply! So are you doing EPQ then? I dropped out a few days ago I know it would look good on my personal statement and it would give me something to talk about but I just didn't feel like doing it. The presentation really put me off the whole thing. Hope this wasn't the wrong decision. Going to force myself to get a lot more work exp and volunteering done in the summer so I don't feel guilty about dropping out

    (Original post by Charlottesmith7)
    I used to be terrified of public speaking too but I recently bought a great book by someone called Dee Clayton called Taming Your Public Speaking Monkeys. She called those voices in your head which tell you you can't do it 'monkeys' and encourages you to communicate with and tame your monkeys. It really makes so much sense and I now feel completely differently about talking in public and doing presentations.

    You can find out about the book here: http://www.deeclayton.com/page/overc...self-help-book

    Good luck!
    Cool thanks!!!
    Since my exams have finished I'll have time to read this it looks good

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