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43. How to Overcome The Fear of Public Speaking

by | Feb 8, 2021 | 6 comments

Culture of Leadership podcast artwork
Culture of Leadership
43. How to Overcome The Fear of Public Speaking



In today’s episode, Brendan has an inspirational chat with his very own Toastmasters club president Kate Purcell. She shares her story of, from a young age, always finding herself getting tripped up by her debilitating fear of public speaking (or, in fact, even the slightest possibility of public embarrassment). So much so, that she often avoided doing things she enjoyed, for fear of being put in a position that would put her in the spotlight.

However, she has made it her goal to overcome this fear and enjoy the freedom that comes with it. She admits that she is still not 100% “cured” of this fear of speaking impromptu and she is working on speaking without her notes in front of her, but, since joining Toastmasters, Kate has learned the importance of having a “just do it” attitude – which she now tries to apply whenever she feels apprehension creeping in. She even went as far as saying “just do it” to becoming her Toastmasters’ Club President – a role that would stretch her in many ways – including of course being “forced” to speak in front of others on a more regular basis. However, she has found her passion in this role and she is able to apply her incredible leadership skills behind the scenes as well, and helping the club organise and set up processes that they are really benefiting from.


Discussion Points:

  • A bit about Kate
  • What is Toastmasters?
  • Going to her first Toastmasters meeting
  • Joining Toastmasters
  • Enjoying the support of her husband
  • Benefits of toastmasters
  • Improving confidence every day
  • Deciding to run for President of Brisbane Water Breakfast Toastmasters Club
  • Priority in her role of president
  • What Kate enjoys about being president
  • Being vulnerable and humble as a leader
  • Advice to become more self-confident


Key Takeaways

  • Leaders lead with vulnerability
  • Leaders are always improving themselves
  • Leaders leave a lasting legacy



Brendan Rogers Website

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Brisbane Water Breakfast Toastmasters Club Website


How to overcome the fear of public speaking


If you have any questions for Brendan around this episode or generally around culture, leadership or teamwork, feel free to contact him here.

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  1. Mike Cronshaw

    I know I’m bias in this instance Brendan, but I thought you brought out the best of Kate in this interview with your carefully researched questions. Equally, Kate excelled with her spontaneous answers and gave me the impression that she was really enjoying contributing to the podcast.
    It was obvious to me ( and I’m sure to everyone who has listened to the podcast) that despite Kate’s relatively short time in Toastmasters she has grasped the “nettle” with both hands, and as she herself said, whilst there is still room for improvement, she has come a long, long way in a short period of time.

    • Brendan Rogers

      Thank you Mike. You are not biased at all. Kate (and Toastmasters) have done a wonderful job in overcoming (or learning to) the fear of public speaking!

  2. Lana M

    Such a great podcast!
    Great interview Brendan and amazing story from Kate.
    One day I will learn to speak so well as you do.

    • Brendan Rogers

      Hey Lana, thank you for taking the time to listen and for sending me your feedback. So glad you enjoyed the episode and I hope it inspires you on your own journey of public speaking.

  3. Andrei V

    I haven’t come across a podcast where I can relate more to what Kate has just described. I am proud to say I have finally taken my first step today.

    • Brendan Rogers

      Hey Andrei, so glad you enjoyed the episode and can relate to Kate’s experience. I hope this gives you the inspiration to know that all of us can overcome our fears around public speaking. Well done in taking your first steps.


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