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Home » How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking: Dr. Justin Moseley (Transcript)

How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking: Dr. Justin Moseley (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Dr. Justin Moseley’s talk titled “How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking” at TEDxWilmington 2024 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:

TRANSCRIPT:

Have you ever been nervous or felt fear when you’ve had to speak in public? Maybe you’ve been on a stage in front of a room full of people, or maybe you had a shared presentation in front of your coworkers. Or maybe you’ve been in a room full of strangers and they made you stand up and say who you are, where you’re from, and what you do. Now, at some point, most people have felt what it feels like to be afraid to speak in public.

For me, I grew up with a tremendous fear of public speaking. And my earliest memory of having a fear to speak happened in the second grade. Our teacher was going around the room and calling on students to read.

Anybody been there? I was thinking, “Please don’t call on me, please don’t call on me, please don’t call on me.” She called someone else. I can relax. But as they would get to the end of what they were reading, that anxiety would start to build again. “Please don’t call on me, please don’t call on me.” And then it happened. She called my name and this wave of anxiety came over my body.

And as I started to read, I started fumbling over my words. And the more I tried to get it together, the worse it got. I started hearing other kids laughing at me. And by the time I finished, I was so embarrassed.

I remember thinking, “I never want to do that again.” And it created this memory early on. “You’re not a public speaker. This isn’t for you. You just need to stay quiet.” And I kept that memory for years to come. Fast forward to my freshman year in college. I had to take a speech class.

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