What’s the average person’s #1 fear?
It’s not dying.
It’s actually public speaking.
(The joke is, at a funeral, most people would rather be inside the coffin than giving a speech.)
Well, here I am giving a speech a few years ago.
For about four years I practiced public speaking every Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. I was a member of an organization called Toastmasters.
My experience in the group was typical.
At first it was very scary.
Then less scary.
And now, almost not at all.
Three years ago, I stood up at a friends wedding and gave a speech with zero preparation. Afterwords, the best man, who had spent a long time preparing his speech, asked me how I did it.
One way to overcome fear is to simply meet it every week. Say, “Hello, Fear.” And eventually Mr. Fear shrinks from a monster to a mouse.
And the easy way to do this is with friends.
There’s no rule that says you have to do it alone.
So if speaking English makes you nervous, anxious, fearful…
Practice with friends before you speak in front of your boss or in front of native speakers.
But do practice.
Because the fear won’t go away by reading grammar books…