Presentation Skills Fear #3 – Fear Of Making A Fool Of Yourself “You’re Gonna Look Stupid”

Presentation Skills Fear #3 – Fear Of Making A Fool Of Yourself “You’re Gonna Look Stupid”

Read time: 3 minutes

Executive Summary


Fear of making a fool of oneself is a common barrier to effective presentations. This fear can hold individuals and teams back from opportunities and diminish the impact of their communication. Overcoming this fear requires acknowledging its presence, recognising its potential self-fulfilling nature, and seeking support to develop presentation skills.

Key Points:

  • Fear of looking stupid can prevent individuals from taking advantage of opportunities.
  • Worrying about appearing foolish can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies.
  • Developing presentation skills can help overcome this fear and empower individuals to communicate effectively.

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Does this fear stop you? Are you or is someone in your team so keen to avoid looking stupid that they’d rather not do “it” at all and miss out on opportunities like giving business presentations to new clients or teams?

Ironically the fear of worrying if we will look stupid in front of others can actually be a self-fulfilling prophecy. We are so worried about not making a fool of ourselves in front of others that in fact we end up doing that very same thing we didn’t want to do! Even Richard Branson has worried about how he’d look compared to someone else, and got all embarrassed.

Do you feel your team is missing out on opportunities?

I have seen so many times in team meetings, industry events and sales presentations where there’s been a brilliant opportunity to stand up and promote yourself or your company but the person hasn’t because of the fear of looking stupid. In sales training it can prevent people from asking a question so they may even leave without understanding the information. You can get over this monkey, and once you do – then you can make an independent decision as to whether it’s appropriate or not for you speak up at an event. If it is appropriate (and without those Public Speaking Monkeys muttering away) you will be able to stand on your feet and speak from your heart and eventually find your Inner Speaker as I call it. I spoke about finding your inner speaker at the Summit2Success last year – take a look at the montage of some of my key points.

An excellent speaker

An example of someone in touch with their inner speaker is Obama at his victory speech when he was the president. Take a look at him in action, of course, we don’t need to all be like Obama – just being our true selves on stage is luckily quite good enough!

Do you feel your team may benefit from presentation skills training? We work with companies (and individuals) that want to see fast results and a step-change in their teams’ presentation skills. We help marketing, sales and executive teams with our award-winning approach so that they can communicate more effectively to their customers. Take a look at our courses to see what may suit you best.

Read Presentation Fear#4!

Author: Dee Clayton

Dee Clayton - Simply Amazing TrainingDee Clayton, an acclaimed coach and winner of the prestigious Overall National UK NBW Award in 2022, has over 30 years of experience in communication. With over half of her career as an author, mentor, and trainer. Dee offers a distinctive blend of skills and insights. Her mission is clear: to empower high-performing individuals to excel further, while guiding their teams to unprecedented success. Connect with Dee via LinkedIn.

Posted by Dee Clayton on 27 Oct 2014

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