Education gave you a fear of public speaking

What to do about it

Liam Sandford
4 min readMay 29, 2024


Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash

You were taught the wrong things about public speaking. The teachers didn’t know what they were doing and based tips on textbooks that help people go from level 3–5 rather than level 0–1. That means you got lots of unhelpful advice that didn’t help you create positive speaking experiences.

On top of that, your class were probably a hard crowd to deliver your first speech or presentation to. If you did it poorly you got laughed at, if you did it well you got laughed at. Poor teaching and a tough crowd — a mix that creates a fear of public speaking.

You were taught to:

  • Memorize a script
  • Open with a joke
  • Stand behind a podium
  • Rely on PowerPoint
  • Picture the audience naked (okay, that one might not have come from the teacher)
  • Open with an agenda and finish with a summary.

This is all unhelpful advice. In fact it’s hurting your ability to speak well. Instead you should:

Unlearn what you know about public speaking

Public speaking is not just speaking on stage in front of lots of people. It is:



Liam Sandford

I help ambitious people scale their impact with quiet communication • Best Selling Author of Effortless Public Speaking •