7 tips for overcoming the fear of public speaking

Our ambassadors share their wisdom on speaking out for the poorest.

People all over the country will be sharing their heart for releasing children from poverty on Compassion Sunday and we’re excited to be part of their journey.

But speaking in public can be pretty scary. Sweaty palms. Dry mouth. A quivering voice. Jelly legs. We all know the feeling, so here are some top tips from our Compassion Ambassadors!

What are your top tips for overcoming nerves?

Jeff Lucas: Find a friendly face, but don’t zoom in on them, (they will feel targeted) but include them. If you see a hostile or indifferent face, don’t try to win them - you don’t know that they are hostile or indifferent anyway. And don’t do a sweeping scan across the audience - that can look weird - but focus on a person for a second or two before moving on, but be inclusive across the whole audience.

Libby Redman: Remind yourself how awesome our God is. Remind yourself of who you are in Christ and then remind yourself why you are doing what you're about to do.

Nathan Beaton: Breathe deeply, find someone in the audience that smiles a lot when you talk.

Kate Wharton: Do some research in advance as to what sort of group it’ll be.

Angie Lendon: Be yourself and remember to share from your heart the topic you're speaking on.

Tom Elliott: Own the room – the energy you present with is the energy the audience will respond with.

Kate Wharton: O another tip - if you have a heart for Compassion and are excited about the amazing work they do, then go for it. Your heart and passion will come across and make up for any nerves.

Smiling boy in Indonesia

What would you say to someone who is thinking about running a Compassion Sunday event but is unsure about speaking in front of people?

Tom Elliott: Aim to communicate just one message, i.e. you change their life, they change yours — everything else supports that one message. Tell a personal story and practise telling it several times.

Libby Redman: I would say, go for it! If you're nervous then take this as an opportunity to be an overcomer and let God help you beat those nerves! Sometimes the stage can be scary because as humans we may worry what people may say or think of us, but the reality is that there are much more important things to be concerned with, like enabling poverty-stricken children to survive another day. Our image isn't really important, the change we are willing to help make for Jesus is.

Pete McAllen from Pyramid Park: If you are passionate for a cause as amazing as Compassion, then people listening will be inspired by you. Your passion will show through any fears of not doing a good job. Most people are nervous about public speaking, but by you speaking out, you never know how many lives could be changed.

Jeff Lucas: If you are thinking about running a Compassion Sunday event then you are already passionate about helping those in poverty, so that’s a great reason to do it!

Why do you think Compassion Sunday is important?

Pete McAllen: It highlights to the church issues of justice, and gives the church an amazing opportunity to put action behind their words.

Tom Elliott: We pray "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done" all the time. Raising awareness of Compassion helps us to take responsibility for that prayer!

Kate Wharton: Compassion Sunday is a chance for them to be reminded about child sponsorship, to find out some more information, to hear from people who do sponsor about why it’s a good thing, and to pray and think about their own response. It’s not a massive hard-sell/guilt-trip, but it does give them a chance to think about whether they want to do this – and perhaps the nudge they need to sign up.

Ugandan children in playground

 Jeff Lucas: It’s important to continue to help to raise the awareness of the work of Compassion, but also to show that we can make a difference by helping one child at a time.

Nathan Beaton: Compassion Sunday is an incredible opportunity for you to change the world, one life at a time.

Libby Redman: Compassion Sunday is important for lots of reasons! I think it's important because not only does it encourage people to change the life of a child, but it helps to broaden our worldview and reminds us that we have so much to be grateful for in the UK despite our own struggles.

What would you say to our supporters who run a Compassion Sunday event?

Tom Elliott: Thank you for stepping out! If just one more child is sponsored because of your event, heaven celebrates!

Angie Lendon: To every church missions team and volunteer, thank you for your continued commitment to the work of Compassion. To the sponsors, you truly do make a difference. Without you so many children would miss opportunities to become all that God intended them to be.

Pete McAllen: To all the amazing supporters who help Compassion – thank you! Each one of you is making a difference, going above and beyond to see children freed from poverty. Thank you for your commitment, example and passion. Never underestimate the impact you have on people.

Kate Wharton: If you organise a Compassion event, as a result of which just one new sponsor signs up, you have transformed the life of one child, one family, one community. So please keep doing what you’re doing, keep speaking out about Compassion, keep spreading the word, keep telling the stories – you can’t imagine the difference it could make. THANK YOU!

Inspired to stand in the gap for children who are trapped in poverty? Take courage and find out more about how you can get involved this Compassion Sunday.

Order your pack today



Thanks to our Compassion Ambassadors for sharing their wisdom with us!

Credits to:
Jeff Lucas, international author, speaker and broadcaster,
Tom Elliott, comedian, evangelist and creative communicator,
Pete McAllen from Pyramid Park, music artist,
"Gospel singing sensation" Libby Redman,
Nathan Beaton from rock band Written in Kings,
Songwriter and musician Angie Lendon,
Vicar of St. George’s Everton, Liverpool, and Area Dean of Liverpool North, Kate Wharton.


Compassion UK

Words by Compassion UK


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