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Overcoming the fear of public speaking

Adam Balfour ( is a Vice President and General Counsel for Corporate Compliance and Latin America for Bridgestone Americas in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking and it is a remarkably common social phobia. Someone can be comfortable and outgoing in working the networking breaks at an SCCE conference, but terrified when they are asked to address the same group of people as an audience. For many of us (if not all of us) in ethics and compliance, public speaking is not something we can avoid. Whether we are conducting trainings for our colleagues or clients, presenting to the board of directors, or wanting to share our knowledge and ideas to help other people learn at a conference, we are all going to have to get up and speak from time to time. While I consider myself to be a somewhat socially awkward person and will never be the life of the party, I have learned to enjoy public speaking, and it is now something that I actually look forward to. In this short article, I will share some of my suggestions for how you can address any fears you might have about public speaking and let your knowledge and ideas help other people.

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