Ask Fred > Career/Work > How do I deal with stage fright?

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Dear Fred

What organizations or methods do you recommend to help me overcome my fear of public speaking? I am an introvert and become very nervous and anxious before I have to give a speech or presentation.

Fred's Response

The time at which you can think more of the audience then what the audience thinks of you will be the start of overcoming stage fright. Remember the fear of public speaking is thought to be among the top three fears people have. I have talked to small groups in church basements. Robert Schuler said that when I was speaking on the Hour of Power I was speaking to a world-wide audience of 10 million. I could not be disappointed in the small size or be intimidated by the largeness of the audience. My responsibility was to generate material that I thought was generally helpful. I also needed to keep my mind towards helping those in the audience and not polishing my abilities as a fine speaker. When people compliment me on my abilities as speaker then I feel I have failed. It is when something I say helps them change then I feel I have done well. It is not easy but it is possible.