Sunday, 23 June, 2024

Fear of Public Speaking Is Universal

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Even the upper echelons of the corporate world, from CEOs to senior managers, often grapple with a common public speaking fear: “The audience will see right through me. They’ll pick apart my research, doubt my authority, critique my attire, and scoff at my communication skills.” Such thoughts paralyze them, despite their stellar resumes and numerous triumphs, especially when they’re under the spotlight, be it at a board meeting, a staff gathering, or a TED Talk.

In my experience, 90% of these fears are baseless. The clients I’ve worked with are established leaders in their fields, backed by impeccable research and exceptional communication skills, honed at the nation’s top universities. The real adversary they face is their own inner critic.

I’ve previously addressed how our inner critic, often a wounded child, can be our harshest judge. This critic is born from incidents of self-doubt, typically between the ages of 8 and 15. It might stem from a casual comment from a parent, a hurtful remark from a family member, or simply a lack of affirmation of your worth. This critic incites fear, making us vulnerable and self-conscious when we are in the public eye.

Imposter syndrome, defined by Wikipedia as the persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud, is a common symptom of this inner critic’s torment. However, irrespective of how decorated your resume is, if you don’t tame this critical voice, you’ll never truly be comfortable with yourself.

Recognize this: your audience is here for your insights, not your attire. Their interest lies in your intellectual prowess, not your physical presence. Be fully immersed in your subject matter, committed to delivering your message with the sole aim of enriching your audience. Forget about self-consciousness on stage or in a meeting. You’re not the focus, your knowledge is. So, exude a calm confidence, revel in the grandeur of wisdom, and let your message take center stage.

Being yourself should bring peace, not anxiety. Standing on a stage should feel empowering, not petrifying. The fear of public speaking has even led some clients to me after their employer’s threatened termination if they continued to avoid this crucial aspect of their roles.

It’s time to reassure your wounded inner child, “I’ve got this under control.” It’s crucial to silence the echoes of past experiences that fuel your inner critic. The family member who belittled your potential was wrong. Your mother’s advice to “know your place” was meant for a younger you. And the negative voices from teachers, bullies, friends, spouses, and bosses were misguided. You are only an impostor if you believe you are.



Joia Jefferson Nuri has a keen intuition for helping women of color executives achieve their goals. Her training as a coach in executive Leadership and public speaking has sharpened her ability to understand and support clients clarify their objectives. Joia helps her clients build a toolkit to battle their destructive inner critic, allowing them to rise from their zone of excellence to their zone of genius. Trained in the rubric of positive psychology, her techniques put clients in touch with their inner critic so they can quiet it. As a leadership coach, her ultimate goal is to help clients understand their worth, maximize their abilities, and live the lives they see for themselves. Joia’s signature executive team-building and inner critic workshops assist companies, social change groups, and women’s organizations to maximize their Leadership while aligning their values and practices.

Before coaching, she was a human rights communication strategist for Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover, TransAfrica, The Institute for Policy Studies, and Truly Living Well Center for Urban Agriculture. As a communication strategist, she testified before Congress on Haiti Relief and co-wrote Congressional Testimony for Danny Glover. Joia Nuri has co-written, edited, and coached 14 TEDx Talks, including one for herself. She was honored to be invited to deliver the keynote address in Vienna, Austria, before the 53 nations of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Her communications career at NBC News was one of the first women hired as a technician. Her move to CBS News made her the first Black woman to serve as Technical Director of the CBS Evening News and Face The Nation. She also worked as a senior producer at NPR, PBS, and C-SPAN.

Her public speaking training began with her father, a classical baritone. Later, her training continued with Shakespearean actress Naomi Jacobson. Joia has performed voiceovers for documentaries on Civil Rights icon John Lewis, ballet dancer Misty Copeland, filmmaker Ava Duverney, and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

Joia Nuri’s early career was in network newsrooms, where she was the first Black woman to be Technical Director of the CBS Evening News and Face the Nation. She also worked as a senior producer at PBS, NPR, and C-Span.She applies her experience, intuition, and training to help each client achieve true Leadership. Today, she is coaching government, education, corporations, and philanthropy leaders.

Awards & Accomplishments:

  • Emmy Award, WRC-TV
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award for Programming Excellence
  • Spirit Award, Pacifica Radio Network
  • Judge for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Human Rights Awards
  • Delivered Keynote Address before the OSCE in Vienna, Austria
  • TEDx Talk, Wilmington
  • Event Strategist, Obama Inaugural Galas, 2009 & 2013

Twitter/X: @joianuripcc


For more business stories click here.

0 comments on “Fear of Public Speaking Is Universal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VIDEO: This Week’s Best of our Network

GDPR Compliance

DBJ does not collect data on its visitors.

USABR: Nationally Syndicated Radio Distribution


for more information on articles on this site. for all other information.

Kevin Price’s “New Rich” Book Ready for Pre-order for 99 cents!

The Price of Business Visits with Robert Kiyosaki on 20 Years of “Rich Dad Poor Dad”

The author of the best selling finance book of all time celebrates its 20th anniversary in a series of interviews with Kevin Price on the Price of Business.

Adventures in Quora with Kevin Price

Kevin Price, Editor at Large of Daily Business Journal and host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business show writes frequently at Quora about issues ranging from politics to personality types. His favorite answers are also found at USA Business Radio.


The Best in News and Thoughtful Commentary

All the News. All the Time

PMWorld 360



For more information regarding content, see the About page.

Recent Comments

    Follow by Email