photo of woman singing in music studio

Public Speaking Hobbies

Hobbies and Public Speaking

Fear of public speaking is common and limiting. It is possibly rooted in early experiences, which were maybe imposed upon us. Maybe we weren’t very interested in our presentation or weren’t very knowledgeable about the subject.

Under these circumstances, our early public speaking experiences were bound to be unpleasant. Hobbies, on the other hand, can present opportunities for voluntary public speaking about subjects we are interested in and knowledgeable about. Hobbies can help us reevaluate our public speaking skills, practice, and improve them.

Fear of Public Speaking Is Common and Likely Rooted in Early Experiences

  • Fear of public speaking is very common.
    • 77% of people have a fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia.
  • Fear of public speaking can limit our work and personal life.
  • It is likely our first public speaking experiences were in school, or even kindergarten.
  • These experiences were possibly imposed upon us. Furthermore, maybe we weren’t very interested in our presentation or weren’t very knowledgeable about the subject.
  • Perhaps adults encouraged us to participate, believing it would be beneficial. We might have lacked adequate emotional preparation or support. We might even have been evaluated without much sensitivity.
  • These early experiences might have shaped our perception of our public speaking skills:
    • “I just remember thinking that I can’t do it. I can’t speak in front of all those people. I was absolutely trembling just before the curtain went up. My voice was shaky and I stared at the floor… Thereafter I avoided any [public] speaking situations”.
  • While we can’t change the past, we can learn from it, and reframe it.

    Self-confidence, Knowledge, and Interest Are Required for Successful Public Speaking

    • Self-confidence and topical confidence are essential to public speaking. So are interest and passion. Few can speak confidently in front of an audience about topics they don’t know much about and are not interested in.
    • With this in mind, it is no wonder our first public speaking experiences were traumatic: they lacked the fundamental requirements for success.
    • Not just our past self, but also our future self can hold us down. Most of us conceive the self as unchanging and try to maintain our narrative coherent over time. With this in mind, we feel that every embarrassing mistake we might make will forever stay part of ourselves. Even more so when it’s witnessed by many.

      Focusing Less on Ourselves Can Make Us Better Public Speakers

      • While the need for a coherent narrative of ourselves might be considered natural, it is unrealistic: Like everything else, we change – and we should allow ourselves to do so.
      • According to the Buddhist concept of the “non-self” (anattā or anātman), no unchanging, permanent self or essence can be found in any phenomenon.
      • Adopting the Buddhist concept of the “non-self”, we can take ourselves less seriously, lighten up, and worry less about future embarrassment.
      • This point of view can also help us let go of past experiences – as we won’t feel forever defined by them anymore.
      • Fixating less on ourselves can further help us with public speaking:
        • “The key to calming the amygdala and disarming our panic button is to turn the focus away from ourselves — away from whether we will mess up or whether the audience will like us — and toward helping the audience”.

        Hobbies Can Allow Us a Natural, Mindful Second Chance with Public Speaking

        • To give ourselves a second chance with public speaking we need to find contexts in which we voluntarily choose to speak about things we know and care about.
        • These opportunities can be rare in life.
        • Hobbies can provide them.

          Public Speaking Hobbies List

          Each hobby page is designed to inspire and help you get started.

          Explore all hobbies →