I’ve all faced a fear of public speaking, and it is the #1 reason why people look into my presentation education course, SpeakU, and the first thing I cover too. To no surprise, there are a lot of great fear of public speaking quotes out there. Some quotes are from well-known contemporaries, and others date back decades to the likes of Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Ford.
Fear of Public Speaking Quotes
“There are only two types of speakers in the world: the nervous and liars.” – Mark Twain, American author
Twain is also quoted with a great line about preparing for speeches, “It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare for a good impromptu speech.”
“Some introverts are perfectly comfortable with public speaking; I’m not one of them.” Susan Cain, author or Quiet and TEDtalk on introverts
“If you’re not comfortable with public speaking – and nobody starts out comfortable; you have to learn how to be comfortable – practice. I cannot overstate the importance of practicing. Get some close friends or family members to help evaluate you, or somebody at work that you trust.” – Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state
“For many years, I didn’t even like the idea of doing a one-person play. Public speaking got me past that. I’ve always been good at public speaking, but I never really enjoyed it. Then I started to really enjoy it, and that’s made all the difference.” – Mimi Kennedy, actress
“I used to be incredibly afraid of public speaking. I started with five people; then I’d speak to 10 people. I made it up to 75 people, up to 100, and now I can speak to a very large group, and it feels similar to speaking to you one-on-one.” – Robin S. Sharma, self-help writer and leadership speaker
“I took a public speaking class in college and managed to make the class laugh a little bit.” – Kevin James, actor [Paul Blart Mall Cop & King of Queens]
“If you’re public speaking, imagine yourself feeling confident; if you’re nervous about a date and thinking, ‘I’m gonna be a dork,’ picture yourself being funny. Then it will be familiar to your brain.” – Lindsey Stirling, violinist
“Apply horse-sense to ridding yourself of self-consciousness and fear: face an audience as frequently as you can, and you will soon stop shying.” – Dale Carnegie, author of
“All those iconic presenters of today were a shy little kid back then.” – Aayush Jain, Indian presentation designer
“All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet & author
“Being a little nervous when you present means that you really care about what you have to say. Audience members see this as a signal that you are solicitous of their esteem—there is a graceful humility this—and that you care enough to want to do a great job. Caring for your audience almost always has a boomerang effect.” – Bruna Martinuzzi, author of
“If you can speak, you can influence. If you can influence, you can change lives.” – unknown
“All speaking is public speaking whether it’s to one person or a thousand.” – Roger Love, celebrity vocal coach
“[The] best way to conquer stage fright is to known what you’re talking about.” – Michael H. Mescon, author of Excellence in Business Communication
These last two are not necessarily about the fear of public speaking quotes, but more in line with fear itself. I think they apply well to presenting, so I wanted to include them:
Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” – Mark Twain
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford, American businessman, founder of Ford Motors
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