Biggest Fears for Doctors Speaking in Public

dr. cheng ruan Mar 21, 2022

***CME link at the bottom of the blog***

For many doctors, public speaking is one of the most daunting tasks they can face. After all, when you're speaking in front of a group, you're responsible for conveying important information that could potentially help save lives.

However, public speaking was never taught in medical school or residency. This is something that is a missing link to medicine, esepcially with the newly popularized group visits (shared medical visits) I covered Integrative Practice Builder.

It's no wonder, then, that so many doctors have fears about public speaking. Here are some of the most common ones:

1. Fear of embarrassing themselves

Doctors are used to being the experts in the room. But when they're asked to speak in front of a group, they suddenly become vulnerable. They worry that they'll say something wrong or make a fool of themselves.

2. Fear of not being able to answer questions

Doctors also fear not being able to answer questions from the audience. They worry that they'll be asked a question they can't answer or that they'll freeze up when put on the spot.

3. Fear of losing control

For some doctors, public speaking can feel like an uncontrolled situation. They're worried about losing control of the room and not being able to get their point across.

4. Fear of sounding arrogant or unprofessional

Many doctors are afraid of coming across as arrogant or unprofessional when speaking in public. They worry that they'll sound like they're know-it-alls or that their comments will be dismissed because of their lack of experience.

5. Fear of receiving negative feedback

Public speaking can be a nerve-wracking experience, and doctors are often worried about receiving negative feedback from the audience. They're afraid that they'll say something wrong or that people won't like them. 

While these fears are common, they don't have to stop doctors from speaking in public. There are things you can do to help overcome your fears and make your presentations more successful.


For example, you can:

 1. Prepare ahead of time

One of the best ways to reduce your fear of public speaking is to prepare ahead of time. Make sure you know what you're going to say and rehearse it aloud so you feel comfortable with it.

2. Practice in front of a friend or family member

Another way to reduce your fear of public speaking is to practice in front of a friend or family member. This will help you get comfortable with the idea of speaking in front of other people.

3. Visualize yourself giving a successful presentation

Visualizing yourself giving a successful presentation can help you feel more confident and less afraid. Picture yourself speaking calmly and confidently, and imagine that the audience is engaged and interested in what you're saying.

4. Take 10 deep breaths

When you're feeling anxious or scared, taking deep breaths can help calm your nerves and make you feel more in control. When you're standing up to speak, take a few deep breaths before beginning to help clear your head and calm your nerves. Let your vagus nerve create that parasympathetic calm!

5. Remember that everyone makes mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, and that includes doctors. Remember that it's okay to make a mistake when speaking in public. In fact, it can even be helpful because it shows that you're human and you're not perfect.

By following these tips, you can help overcome your fears of public speaking and become a more confident speaker. So don't let your fears hold you back - get out there and start speaking! 

This Blog is not approved for credit by CMEfy, however, you may reflect on how it applies to your day-to-day and engage to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from point-of-care learning activities here: 

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