I'm worried about public speaking

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Dear Gill, I am thirty-four, mother of two teenage boys, and am currently attending college part-time. I am writing a speech for my Public Speaking Class on The Fear of Public Speaking, but Iím really worried about delivering it. Iíve always been shy and this really scares me. I do want to pass the course, though. Can you help? TM

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002



Public speaking can be a bit daunting for all of us - I can assure you.

Could I ask you to tell me a little about what it is that is really frightening you about speaking infront of others? This might help us both to be able to look at the issue a little more clearly and to see where these fears originate from.

You also mentioned that you are a rather shy person. Has this always been so, or has it actually become so over a period of time?

I look forward to hearing from you.


-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

Dear TM, Thank you for all the information you have given me about yourself. You seem to be struggling with the thought of delivering your speech at the moment. It looks like the writing part of it has triggered your fear around public speaking. Part of you really wants to pass this course and yet another (what you have long known as being your shyness)is sabotaging your determination & faith in yourself. Is that right? Perhaps together we could look at your concerns a bit further, perhaps explore the part(s) of you that seem to get in the way when it comes to public speaking? At the same time, I am thinking that it might be useful if you read the attached information I am sending to you along with this e-mail to get to know a bit more about me, what I offer, etc. and the kind of agreement we would be making. What do you say? I am looking forward to hearing from you. Christina K.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

Hello TM

Thanks for writing to me about your problem. A lot of people find the thought of public speaking terrifying and you say you've always been very shy too. That must make it even more daunting and yet you enrolled on a public speaking course. That was very brave of you. I imagine part of the reason for taking the course was so that you could face this particular fear you have? Well done for taking the first step to overcoming your shyness! :-)

Would you like to share with me your exact fear and feelings? Perhaps then we could work together to figure out some ways which might help? Sometimes, just writing down exactly what it is you are worried about helps. I would be pleased to try and help you get through this with you.

Let me know if that sounds OK for you

Best wishes


-- Anonymous, September 27, 2002

Hello TM

It was good to get your message. I hope we will be able to work together to help you gain the confidence you need to deliver your speech.

I hear that you consider yourself to be a shy person so taking this course must have been a big (and brave) decision for you. Also that as the mother of 2 teenage boys you lead a busy lifestyle.

Hopefully together we can work out the best approach for you. I look forward to hearing from you soon


-- Anonymous, September 28, 2002

Dear TM How nice to hear from you. I am full of admiration for what you are doing. It can't be easy to sign on for a part time course as well as care for 2 teenage boys. I am wondering if they are suppportive of your move and if they are willing and able to help to you? As for the topic that you have to talk about, it sounds like the organisers of the course realise that fear is a real issue for the participants and possibly understanding of your dilemma. Have they allocated time when you can talk to them about your concerns? If not, I would love to hear from you again and find out how you are getting on in preparing for the time when you have to give your talk. All the best for now rosemary

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2002

Dear TM

Could it be that in choosing a college course with a public speaking class shows you have quite a motivation in wanting to tackle this! You are in good company, too, in finding public speaking unnerving - as a thriving industry of really good books on the subject will testify.

Finding out what you're mostly scared about is an essential first move. It may be that the shyness you mention is what is on your mind. Could you tell me a little more about this and how shyness particularly affects you? It would help us both to make a start in understanding your worries and finding ways to help. I look forward to hearing from you. Marnie

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2002

[For this exercise I assume that contracting etc. is done elsewhere]

Hi TM,

Thanks for your email and for sharing your fears about shyness and public speaking with me.

We can discuss your feelings of fear and shyness together and we can look at ways of coping or dealing with these feelings. We can go at your pace and you can choose the issues that we look into and the depth of our discussions. We can look at the way that you are seeing the stressful situations and consider other ways of seeing.

I am interested that you have enrolled on a public speaking course which seems to bring about strong feelings of fear and anxiety for you. Is this a way of tackling what you see as your shyness?

Let me know how you feel about any of the above. I appreciate that, with two teenagers at home and a part-time college course, you have pressure on your personal time, let me know if you feel that this is an issue.

Warm regards, Mike

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002

Dear TM Thank you for geeting in touch with me Being shy and speking in public is certainly an issue for you. I suggest we arrange a meeting Together we can explore the feelings that you have regarding speaking in public. The problems may lie in the past who knows? Your topic is certainly apt. Until we meet I suggest your concentrate on writing your speech


-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

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