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Reduce Your Fear Of Public Speaking & Embrace Your Sweaty Armpits

Reduce Your Fear Of Public Speaking & Embrace Your Sweaty Armpits

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The fear of public speaking has been in many people’s top ten list of fears for quite some time.

What makes this fear so strong?

I can speak for myself, and a few others I’ve talked to. The fear of public speaking rings true to many for a few reasons…


  • We are worried about looking bad and making a mistake
  • Self doubt surfaces
  • Lack of skill. Many of us stop consistently practicing after high school
  • Many people feel extremely vulnerable and are worried about judgement
  • Public speaking is barely installed during schooling (maybe more within a college major)
  • Sufficient preparation and practice is usually avoided
  • We feel threatened on a biochemical level; tendency to avoid when our comfort zone is breached

My fear of public speaking was very strong for years. Let me paint a quick picture, to give you an idea of what I would put myself through.

I would think about a future time that a friend of mine would have a wedding. My brain would then begin to stir up the thoughts about possibly being the best man or having to give a speech. The feeling of anxiety would pour in, making me more nervous than a teacup chihuahua standing under and elephant.

What made me shift this fear?

After years of putting myself through the suffering, I got to the point of being sick and tired of living with the fear.

I think when you keep experiencing a harsh feeling over and over, one that affects your being on a deeper level, you simply get so fed up with it you change.

I decided to join Toastmasters to begin softening my fear of public speaking. Taking that step to jump two feet into Toastmasters was the best decision for me to make.

I felt like I was a linebacker tackling something will full intention. Just showing up that first day felt like I was confronting something that I had avoided for too long.

I was apart of that group for a little over two years, with plenty of milestones reached.

I remember a conversation I had with one of my mentors. We were discussing the fear of public speaking and typical speech anxiety. He told me, “Damian, I still get nervous and I’ve been doing this for years. What fun would it be if you didn’t get nervous. It would be boring as hell being that perfect!.”

That comment he made has lodged inside my brain for quite some time. I don’t purposefully try to get nervous before a speech, but the more I understood that comment he made the less I beat myself up.

Wait a damn second?? It’s ok to be nervous and make a mistake? Holy shit!

Here are some suggestions towards how you can reduce your fear of public speaking and start looking forward to getting up in front of people…

  • I’m giving you permission right this second to be vulnerable and make a mistake…or twenty
  • How much longer do you want to live your life in fear?
  • Join a group like Toastmasters or a meetup that requires you to give speeches
  • Embrace your anxiety. Have compassion for your nervous side and picture yourself loving and laughing at the fact that you experience sweaty pits or shit stained underwear. 🙂
  • As you start practicing speeches, eventually use audio or video to tape your speech. I was shocked at how much it helped to see myself.
  • Try a technique called NLP to see yourself differently; begin to experiment with one specifically called a Fast Phobia Cure.
  • Visualize yourself succeeding. Close your eyes and notice what it will feel like once you get involved in Toastmasters or complete an upcoming work related presentation. See yourself delivering the last line in your speech, smiling, then sitting down with an awesome amount of “you did it” energy.

Getting over a fear takes time, but more importantly it requires your desire to want to make a change.

If you want to start feeling different about your fear of public speaking, take one step that will lead you to make the change today. Your personal and business life with begin to unfold in ways you wouldn’t have thought.

I suffered for too long with that fear and it still puts a smile on my face to look back at the journey. Plunge in my friend and don’t look back!


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