Speech Fear Activity
- To talk about speech fear.
- To understand most people have some fear of public speaking.
- To brainstorm suggestions on how to overcome common speech fears.
- Pass out index cards.
- Write down your top three fears about public speaking.
- Put all the cards in a hat and stir. (There is something extra special about having a hat or using one of your student’s hats).
- Students sit in groups of 3-4 people.
- Each person draws a card out of the hat and reads it to the group.
- The group discusses similarities and differences in the fears.
- The group comes up with a list of suggestions to overcome the most common fears in the group.
Variation: Sort the fears into categories. Write columns of the board of themes that emerge. Content fear, audience reaction fear, performance fear, etc.
Note: I conduct training on professionalism in the classroom for graduate students who will be teaching classes. They write on the card, what their biggest fears are about being a classroom teacher when they first come to the seminar. I then teach the seminar and then at the end they draw the cards from others. They discuss the common themes, similarities to their own fears, and how the seminar addressed them. They then talk about any unaddressed themes.
- I have mixed feelings about sharing this resource. This is a Personal Report of Communication Apprehension used by communication scholars to give a number to the level of your communication apprehension. They use this number to say, “Before we did this experiment, participants had this number of apprehension and with the intervention, participants have this number of apprehension which shows that our experiment worked.” For some of you, it may help to see how your numbers rise, for others it may just reinforce the belief that you are an apprehensive speaker.
- Take the Personal Report of Communication Apprehension (PRCA-24)
Abrahams, M. (2018). Speaking up without freaking out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIXvKKEQQJo. Standard YouTube License.
Her directness and her vocabulary may not be for everyone, but she makes an important point that we let our fears stop us from doing what we know we should do.
Robbins, Mel. Stop Giving a Shit. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1651682978260913. Standard YouTube License.
Transform Your Thinking. (2016). Eight ways to get over stage fright and performance anxiety. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G17qayfxEoo. Standard YouTube License.
Toastmasters. Managing fear. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1u7THOudfw
- Green Monkey Pink Elephant My Michael Rau