Fear of Public Speaking

The situation in the Ukraine really is tragic and I have found that it helps me to do things which might help the refugees a little bit, such as collecting blankets, sleeping bags, scarves, hats and gloves. I am also trying to find work for refugee English teachers by giving them free membership of the English Language Teaching Association in Frankfurt which I lead.

I often think how afraid they must be which brings me to the topic of my blog this week – fear of speaking English in public. I know this is a completely different kind of fear but still a real and normal fear.

Accepting that it is normal to be afraid when you have to speak English in public is half the battle, and there is a very good article in the Business Spotlight magazine this month about public speaking and how to accept your nervousness. It also gives very good advice on preparing in advance, thinking positively, relaxing, breathing, avoiding caffeinated drinks (!!) and talking to someone (always happy to help).

I can remember the first time I was asked to give a workshop in German on coaching for teachers at the VHS in Bavaria. It was about 10 years ago. I was really scared and thought they would think my German was really bad (sounds familiar?). But always a fan of leaving my comfort zone, I managed it with the help of the above tips. I can’t say I really enjoyed it, but it felt good afterwards!

I recently read FEAR has two meanings – ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise’. Which would you choose?

Let’s hope the second meaning dominates the poor people in Ukraine  in the coming weeks.

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