18 Facts about Speaking in Public that keep people up at night…


  1. Everyone will be watching you (and judging you)
  2. No one wants to be there in the first place
  3. The audience will hate you
  4. The audience will disagree with what you have to say
  5. Your topic is boring
  6. Your topic is complicated
  7. Your voice is boring and monotonous
  8. You won’t remember what to say next
  9. The lap top won’t fire up
  10. Your cables and leads are not long enough
  11. The bulb in the projector will go
  12. Your pants will fall down
  13. Someone important is in the audience who has great influence over your career
  14. You will drop your prompt cards.
  15. You are going to faint
  16. You have lost your voice
  17. Some one is going to heckle you
  18. The audience are going to talk throughout your presentation

And breathe…It is human nature to worry and when it comes to standing up in public and presenting, some people will worry more than most.

The reality is it is rarely as bad as you believe it will be.

The challenge is that if you focus on all these 18 instances (and the rest!), then you will be getting into a right state about presenting.  This is different to getting into the Right State to present.

Here are six more positive thoughts to have when you wake in the middle of the night before your presentation:

  1. Preparation is key.  If you have a key message focused on the needs of the audience and what they need to hear, then they will need and want to listen
  2. Check your equipment again…and again…and again.  And then leave it.  A good structure will mean that if it all fails you can still carry on (see a previous blog on this point)
  3. Most people, most of the time, want you to succeed.  If you don’t, then it is a waste of time. So they are willing you on. (And usually grateful that it is you up there not them)
  4. Focus on what you know, what you remember and what you want people to go away with.  Focusing on the positive will mean you get more of the positive.
  5. The audience has never heard this presentation before.  So if you end up going off-piste, if you miss something out, if comes out in a slightly different order than planned, chances are only you know.  It might not be the very best way of saying something, but it is unlikely to be an unmitigated disaster.
  6. At the end of the day, no one will die as a result of your presentation.  If it all goes pear shaped, then it may not feel very comfortable but you will be able to pick yourself up and carry on.  And for most of us it isn’t that the whole thing goes wrong.  Just bits. (and the audience aren’t always aware of it anyway).  So learn your lesson, identify what to do differently or better next time.  Pick yourself up.  Brush yourself down.  Get back into the saddle as quickly as possible and the sky is your limit.

If you would like to chat with Catherine about your presentations then call on 07946604859 or email on catherine@catherinesandland.com.

The Expert’s Presentation Game Plan is an online training programme supplemented with one to ones.  Click here for more details.

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2 Responses to 18 Facts about Speaking in Public that keep people up at night…

  1. Colin Barnes March 6, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

    A great lineI heard from a speaker, who was speaking second at an event after the first speaker had made a very sophisticated and complex presentation including many slides was..

    … I don’t have any slides, but rest assured if I did, they would have been great.

    Having got everybody’s attention, they then listened to what he had to say!


    • Catherine Sandland March 7, 2014 at 11:43 am #

      Oh I like this story. Thank ou for sharing.

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