One thing people commonly fear is public speaking. If you don't have any experience in doing this, it can be VERY nerve wracking trying to keep your composure while speaking in front of an audience. Believe me, I know. Before I started doing stand up comedy, I took a couple of public speaking classes at a local community college. I managed to get an "A" in both classes, but I remember being really scared during my first speech. As I did more and more speeches, the nervousness was still there, but it affected my performance less each time I did a presentation.
The first time I did stand up comedy, I was nervous as hell. I managed to get good laughs throughout my set. However, a heckler ruined one of my last jokes and I had no idea how to respond or recover.
My first year in comedy I bombed quite often. During that time period, I'm sure a lot of people have talked about me and wondered why I didn't give up comedy. However, I stuck with it and gradually improved to where I started to get booked for paid gigs and invited to more shows.
When I go up on stage now, I feel very confident in myself. I almost hope a heckler trys to disrupt me, so I can make him or her look silly.
So what can you do to overcome your fears of public speaking? Here is what I recommend:
1. Face your fear dead on, and just do it!
If you've been thinking about doing stand up comedy or public speaking, and never had the nerve to actually do it, take the plunge and give it a try! You will be scared as hell before and possibly during your experience. However, after it is over, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment.
2. Keep on doing speeches/performances as often as you can.
The main reason why people are afraid of public speaking is the fear of the unknown. As you gain experience, you gain confidence in your material and yourself. The fear of the unknown will be severely reduced because you will be in familiar territory.
3. Film your speeches.
Do you remember the first time you ever tape recorded yourself and then listened to it? Your voice sounds a lot different than what you normally hear doesn't it? A similar experience happens when you see yourself on video. Even though it may be painful, watch video recordings of yourself and see where you can make improvements.
If you are thinking of doing stand up comedy, I have a couple of articles on Ehow.com that will help you. Here they are:
How to Write Hilarious Jokes
How to Do Stand Up Comedy For Your First Time
Remember, fear comes from your imagination. Your imagination can be put to better use.
What else is fear keeping you from doing? Try facing your fears dead on in other areas and see where it takes you.