There are plenty of resources available to help you overcome your fears in general, and of a fear of public speaking specifically. Of course, learning how to overcome one fear–say the fear of spiders (which I don’t really care about getting rid of, myself) can help you overcome other fears, as well.
More than ever before there are people ready and able to help you. You can choose from podcasts, books, apps, and forums. TED and TEDx talks are an increasingly popular and accessible way to get inspiration and ideas to help you overcome all sorts of obstacles. Here are some of the top TED talks to help you deal with your fears.
1. Ryan Foland: How not to get chased by a bear
Ryan Foland believes that metaphorical bears are chasing everyone in their professional and personal lives. These bears are stressors that trigger your fears. This talk sets out to identify and break out of the fight or flight reaction whenever a ‘bear’ triggers your fear. If one of your bears is speaking in public, Foland’s TED talk might help you.
2. Tim Ferriss: Smash, fear, learn anything
World-renowned author and self-help guru Tim Ferriss talks about the one basic question to ask in any situation. What’s the worst that could happen? Once you’ve got that out of the way, you can get on with achieving your goals. This is an excellent question to ask about giving a speech. The likelihood that people will throw rotten tomatoes at you or boo you out of the room are remote in most situations. What do you fear is the worst that will happen if you step up to the mic?
Ferriss shrinks fear back down to just another aspect of life. Overcoming fear often leads to your most satisfying success.
3. Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating
Best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the fear she had to overcome when she started to write her next book after the phenomenal success of Eat, Pray, Love. She drew on the determination she developed after years of rejection to focus on doing the thing she loved – writing. If your fear is that your second speech won’t live up to your first, this TED talk might prove insightful.
4. Leonard Kim: Why You Should Let Your Fears Guide You
Are you letting the fear of speaking freeze you in your tracks and stop you from pursuing or achieving your goals? Then Leonard Kim’s TED talk might inspire you. His fear response resulted in a bad situation–no electricity and an eviction notice. To recover, he decided to not run away from his fears, but rather let them guide him. In this presentation, he shares his three-step process for doing that.
5. Angela Ceberano: Be the Warrior, Not the Worrier – Fighting Anxiety and Fear
Public relations professional Angela Ceberano shares her own experiences of dealing with fears and anxiety. She discovered research which showed only eight percent of the things that people worried about were likely to happen. Armed with this knowledge, she decided to use her fears to her advantage, instead of seeing them as a bad thing. Angela presents two approaches to dealing with fear, and how to choose to be a warrior instead of a worrier. This is probably the best one when working on overcoming the fear of public speaking.
6. Olympia LePoint: Reprogramming your brain to overcome fear
Some fears — like the fear of speaking — can be a learned response. Because of that, they can be unlearned. In this TED talk, Olympia LePoint shares her three-step method, involving three key decisions, to overcome fear and reprogram the brain.
7. Emily Muller: How to move forward while living in Fear
After being diagnosed with not one, but two incurable diseases that leaver he in a great deal of pain and fear, Emily Muller has learned how to face her daily fears, doubts and uncertainties with a sentence. In this TEDx talk, she shares that sentence and how you can use it in your life.
But Wait! There’s More about the Fear of Speaking!
The TED and TEDx talks I shared above are about fear in general. However, there are several that are specifically about the fear of speaking, as well.
- Animesh Gupta: A dialogue to kill the fear of public speaking
- Danish Dhamani: How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking
- Dave Guin: Why do we fear public speaking?
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