One way to overcome fear of public speaking is to be afraid and speak anyway. As stupid as this seems, it’s possibly the most reliable way to gain confidence in speaking. Be afraid, be nervous, be hesitant, but do it anyway.
You won’t be very good at it the first few times, but don’t expect to be. Simply make it a goal to do it and finish. Once you’ve done it a few times, and you realize it hasn’t killed you, you’ll be less afraid to do it the next time. And if you keep doing it, eventually you’ll start to get good at it and may even learn to enjoy it.
I think one of the reasons people fear public speaking is that they expect too much of themselves. It’s like being afraid of flying a plane when you’ve had no instruction. Of course you’re going to fail. If the pilot calls you up to the cockpit and says “land this plane,” it’s a safe bet you’ll crash if you try it.
But at least when you fail at public speaking, it isn’t normally fatal (causing disaster or failure). Failure is actually one of the best ways to learn it. It’s the same way we learn to walk and talk when we’re toddlers (a child how has only recently learnt to walk) . We stumble and stutter (to move with difficulty)until we get it right. Just as you wouldn’t expect a white belt in Karate to be able to break a brick, you also wouldn’t expect a first-time public speaker to be as polished as a pro. But sadly, people demand such a level of performance of themselves, expecting that if they’re going to speak publicly, they’d better be outstanding. And since this isn’t going to happen, it generates fear. But the fear largely goes away if you set realistic expectations and head up to the lectern expecting to stink your first few times.