The Fear-less Public Speaking Blog Turns 5! - A comprehensive guide to what is in it and what you may have missed.
I started the Fear-less blog 5 years old and have written more than 50 articles. I aim to write one a month - sometimes I wonder whether I will run out of ideas for new articles – but it hasn’t happened yet!
I get about 10,000 visitors a year to the website (not huge but it is growing!) -about 80% of whom have clicked on a blog article to get there. There are a few articles that are especially popular but also some have never been ‘discovered’ that I think have a lot of value. The reason they have not been discovered could be as simple as the wrong key words.
Most articles are ‘evergreen’ meaning they don’t relate to a specific event so retain their relevance over time.
I have not used AI to generate any of the articles on the Blog. Most of my articles are heavy on original content – i.e., they draw on my own experience as a coach of people who fear public speaking. Many also reference other sources.
I have written this article as a guide to the Fear-less blog so that you can more easily find articles of interest. And to give some of my lesser-known articles a second chance!
These articles are the top five visited articles over the last year. Most of these are older articles as it takes some time for the google algorithm to understand which articles people value.
Public Speaking and the Shame of Appearing Nervous (2019)
When I wrote this article, I was not expecting it to become by far the most popular article on the Fear-less blog. It has had more than 1000 hits over the last 90 days which is more than double the next most popular. This tells me that people worry intensely about looking nervous! If this is you, you should find the article quite reassuring. In the article I point out that almost everyone looks more confident than they feel. And that looking a little nervous is not a crime!
Seven Stories of People Who Once Had a Crippling Fear of Public Speaking and Did Something About it! (2020)
I am pleased this article has done well. It is original content and I am grateful to the clients who agreed to contribute to it (most under pseudonyms). I feel that round two is due sometime in the next year!
Why Practice Impromptu Speaking? (2018)
You probably think of public speaking as formal presentations. But in fact, most of the public speaking we do is impromptu – e.g., speaking up in meetings.
In a course, it is hard to replicate the type of impromptu speaking you have to do at work. But by getting people used to speaking on random topics (like name three things you would take to Mars!), their confidence grows in real life situations.
When I first started running the Fear-less course I didn’t include much impromptu speaking because I felt it was not the best place to start for people with a fear of public speaking. But I quickly changed my stance – although I make it optional, I have seen people gain a lot of confidence by standing up and speaking off the cuff. And some people actually prefer impromptu speaking to giving a prepared talk.
Nervous About Public Speaking? Self-talk that Actually Helps (2021)
This article covers some of the core content of the Fear-less course. Addressing the fear of public speaking is mainly about changing your mindset and recognising that much of what you are telling yourself is not only unhelpful – it is untrue. I explain why positive affirmations don’t work for many people – but I provide alternatives. If you want to understand more about my approach, this is a good article to start with. It is another one that deserves a round two!
Presentation Anxiety in Students – How Can We Help? (2018)
Periodically, a student gains a lot of attention on social media by questioning why they should be forced to do public speaking at school. Many of my clients have a humiliating experience of public speaking that dates back to the classroom. But I don’t believe that allow students to opt out is in their best interests in the long term. This article is primarily for parents wondering how to support a child who is struggling – but I hope some teachers read it too.
Most popular new article
Suffering from Public Speaking Anxiety? This Is What Others Just Like You Have to Say About Their Fear.
This article was written early in 2023 and I am confident it will become a favourite. I wrote it to reassure people who struggle with public speaking anxiety that they are not alone. It is another original content article because it uses the responses from my clients in answering a pre-course questionnaire.
Here are two articles that have done particularly well in the last month:
Flight, Fight, Freeze Response to the Fear of Public Speaking (2019)
This is an oldie that has done well recently. It is what I would call a foundational article that explains what is at the root of your public speaking anxiety and what happens to you physiologically.
How to Share Something Personal With an Audience Without Oversharing (2021)
This is one of the few articles not directly about the fear of public speaking – but sometimes, being vulnerable with an audience can be a good way of overcoming fear. This article is original content based on my own observations. I have seen many people share experiences that are very moving. I have also seen the occasional person overshare – to the point of being self-indulgent. I have had feedback that this article has been incredibly useful for people to help define that line. Spoiler alert – if you are aware that there is a line, you are probably not at risk of oversharing! Hopefully this article will encourage you to go ahead and share.
How Susan Cain Overcome a Fear of Public Speaking to Give a TED Talk That Has Been Viewed More Than 25 Million Times
If you don’t know who Susan Cain is, she has given one of my all-time favourite TED talks “The Power of Introverts.” She was initially a lawyer before quitting a high-powered corporate job to become an author. Her TED talk is based on her first book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking”.
In order to promote her book, Susan had to overcome a crippling fear of public speaking – and she did! I find Susan’s story inspiring for many reasons – including that many (although definitely not all) people who fear public speaking, put it down to being introverted.
I am not sure why this article gets fewer hits than it used to – I think Susan story is of great value to anyone with a fear of public speaking who worries they will never be free of their fear.
Other articles worth your while
Of course, I think all the articles are worth your while, but here are some that I particularly want to highlight. I have organised these by theme.
Self-talk, mindset shifts, and other tools to help address your fear of public speaking
Here are a selection of articles about how you can change the way that you think about public speaking and your own abilities to address your fear of public speaking.
Public speaking in the workplace
Most of my clients are struggling with (or avoiding) public speaking in the workplace. Here are some articles that might even encourage you to find a new job! If you are an employer, these articles will help you understand how you can support your staff to become more effective communicators.
Tools to become a better speaker
This is not a general public speaking Blog and so I tend to leave article about becoming a better speaker to other coaches. But the articles in this list, I believe will help nervous speakers become better speakers.
Want me to write about a topic I have not covered yet? You can comment on this article and I will see what I can do!
Written by Catherine Syme
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I get huge satisfaction from seeing the relief, pride, and even joy that people experience when they complete a course and reflect on the progress they have made. See what others say for some inspiring stories.