Don't Hate Public Speaking, Fear It

I heard a call — my name; and it jolted me back to reality.


Olawale Kayode

3 years ago | 3 min read

I laid there envisioning different scenarios. . .

It was my first, and I pondered about all the bad what-ifs in my head. It was disturbing and uncomforting, but I managed to swallow and stomach it. My head, now a giant rumble of disagreements, danced in whirls, yet coordinated zigzag moves.

I heard a call — my name; and it jolted me back to reality.

The harsh reality I faced created a mix of temperature in me — both cold feet and hot chest. The words — that came out from my tight lips — were painful and made me sick of it. I concluded:

I hate public speaking.

Many of us are faced with the dilemma of public speaking; it makes us cringe oddly. We seem not to talk about it, and we run away at its mention. Run away? Yes, we do! At least I do, and at times, still do.

It sucks when you watch great motivational speakers like Tony Robbins, Eric Thomas, and Les Brown speak effortlessly. What hurts me most is when people say, “I can’t be any of those guys,” and the seemingly common question, “am I doing something wrong?” Maybe we’re doing something wrong.

The wrong kind of right. Wikipedia posits public speaking as the process or act of performing a speech to a live audience. While this is true, public speaking can also start from a simple conversation with a group.

However, there’s a misconception of hate. The hate of public speaking stems from the fear of people, also known as Anthropophobia. It is a mental concern that affects cognitive abilities and is, sadly, deeply ingrained in our personality traits.

Maybe we need to fear, not hate, or dread public speaking. The difference? The right kind of fear.

A healthy fear of something puts you on guard to attack new challenges. It disproves the myth of perfection, which is dictated by predictability and certainty, and it gives you a crest of excitement, one that you anticipate with caution and the right attitude.

Practice makes perfect. You’ve heard those words numerous times, but the perfection in those words require thorough practice (pun intended).

First, you need to understand that public speaking is an art — art is a skill. Thus, any skills can be learned, improved, and mastered to relative perfection if done correctly.

Think about the art of speech as “building blocks” — the burning fire of refinement that you’d need a pass. Building blocks affect all spheres of life.

Connections are built. Legacies are made through years of hard work. You are, hence, here in the universe to mark your greatness in an ever-increasing mass of creatives. Humanity is still young, so cast your lots hard.

Look at Kayode’s example, a young man who slurred in his speech while talking to a large group. He notes, “I had no problem with my speech, but the sight of many eyes on me made me lose my guard many at times. I hated being the center of attention, so I’d stutter when people’s eyes are glued on me for opinion.”

“I knew it was turning to a real problem when I began to experience panic attacks and nervousness, so I formulated a plan by analyzing my anxieties,” he continues.

Kayode knew his problem, analyzed, and attacked it. He concluded by giving a detailed solution: “I started practicing with a mirror. I looked at my fears in the eye by feeling comfortable talking to myself to a mirror. And then, I moved forward to talking to my parents and friends and loved ones with better confidence.

Ultimately, I began taking presentations in classes and large groups. Making peace with myself bolstered my confidence to reach out to more people.”

“The plans of the diligent surely lead to success, but all who are hasty surely head to poverty” — A wise king.


Public speaking is a daunting task for everyone. While it can be a dread for many, it is an art that can be mastered. Just remember the summary points when you cringe just like I always did;

1. Develop a healthy kind of fear, not hate, towards public speaking. It will prove you wiser and present it as a challenge.

2. Analyze your difficulties and, hence, work on yourself from the start. You could jot your progress if necessary.

3. Don’t forget to continue proving yourself to what you learn by practicing hard. Only then can you make peace with yourself. Let’s quit small talk; now do the needful!


Created by

Olawale Kayode







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