Public Speaking with Vulnerability |Emotion Matters |TCW

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

microphone and blurred crowd

A Certain Amount of Nervousness and Vulnerability in Public Speaking Is a Good Thing

Can public speaking with vulnerability be a good thing? Every time I do any type of public speaking, I get nervous. When I was younger and I was nervous, I would stutter. Even today, I sometimes hear myself repeating a word as I get animated. Throughout my life, I work hard to conceal these flaws, but the reality is that it is a part of who I am. And I'm hardly alone. It’s a natural instinct to be nervous in public speaking and something that many of us can relate to. When I’m speaking, my nervousness and vulnerability is part of what makes me real and relatable.


The other day I saw a friend give an amazing talk. In the middle of her discussion, she revealed to the crowd she was nervous. As a result the crowd became more engaged and connected than ever before. They were rooting her on and as soon as she disclosed her nervousness, things got even better. She killed it.  The fact that she admitted to being nervous actually helped her to become more relaxed and connected to the audience. And as a result, the audience responded to her vulnerability and connected with her.

There are some people who are naturals at public speaking. For the rest of us, public speaking can be a real challenge. But you shouldn’t feel bad or look at your nervousness as a detriment. Embrace your nervousness and vulnerability. It's a part of what makes you human. Utilizing your nervousness and vulnerability into a positive momentum is something that will be easier with practice. You will find natural places to pause and ways in which to even further develop a connection with your audience. So the next time you feel nervous while you are public speaking, know you are not alone and use it to your advantage to connect with your audience.

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