Why is it so hard for me to talk publicly?

I feel really uncomfortable when I have people's attention. It makes me not want to talk in public or answer questions in class. Can I get over this social anxiety?

Genevieve Rideout
Genevieve Rideout
Christian Counseling for Women ages 20-95

you can learn lots of skills/techniques to feel more confident in what you need to do that will decrease your anxious response for sure! :) And  you can also learn how to work with your personality that may not like the attention. You may find that "talking" to others through the internet is more comfortable and you are great at it, or that you love one on one talking but aren't really made for group talking. There is a place in this world for you either way! Public speaking skills can be practiced in speech class, or toastmaster group, they will give you practice in a safe environment where the cool kids or cutest boy aren't ready to laugh at you.  What topics are you interested in and what groups can you do a little speaking up? Maybe in your small group at church try and raise you hand to share your opinion, or maybe your Girl Scout troop? Look around for a peer and one adult who you like to hear speak out, ask them to share with you 2 things that help them feel comfortable speaking in public. Check out some Ted Talks and see how they share in groups. Social anxiety is a difficult concern and picking apart what is your awesome personality and what needs skill building and mindfulness/anxiety  help are important steps. Good luck!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Since anxiety usually about anticipating a bad result, or fear of being judged negatively, as though having failed some sort of test, consider what would give you the feeling of anticipating a good result from talking to an audience?

Maybe, for example, if you prepared and rehearsed your talk more than what you typically would, you'd feel more secure in speaking  in front of an audience.

Once you sort through your particular reason as to the source of your discomfort, it may feel more manageable.

Yes, social anxiety can change.  You may naturally prefer smaller groups than an audience.

And, it is possible to decrease anxiety in what may always be somewhat uncomfortable for you.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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