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How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking | Danish Dhamani | TEDxKids@SMU

my name is Donna SH and my full-time job

is to count people's arms and us and

like it all started at my first day of

school after my family moved from

Pakistan to Tanzania

I was busy sketching my dream cars in my

notebook and all of a sudden I hear a

voice in my direction the teacher

Daanish can you please rise up and

introduce yourself she had put me on the

spot I was in this foreign land 30 pairs

of eyes staring at me how would you feel

when a teacher puts you on the spot in

this kind of situation my mind went

blank my heart started racing I kept

quiet I started hearing giggles in the

classroom and then tears ran down my

cheek that was the first time I felt the

fear of speaking in front of others the

first time I felt the fear of public


fast-forward a few years I was at

college here in America that fear still

stuck with me it wasn't slow it was part

of my soul now when I was little I had

many other fears I was afraid of the

dark the monsters under my bed the

cockroaches and I don't mean the tiny

cockroaches here but the big flying

cockroaches I had back home in Pakistan

in Tanzania but I outgrew these fears I

overcame them as I grew older but public

speaking no way I was still afraid of it

but I decided enough was enough I

decided to do something about it to take

that step and find a solution and so I

went to the one place on the internet

where we all look for problems - our

solution to our problems Google I

searched on Google how to overcome the

fear of public speaking the first link

told me about the great things I could

be if I overcame this fear sound like a


get a great job share your ideas give a

TED talk change the world the second

link showed me all the different ways I

could overcome this fear hire a speech

coach talk in front of the mirror do

online courses attend public speaking

clubs like Toastmasters that's when I

realized that I had it wrong all this

time I thought you are either born a

public speaker or you're not I was wrong

I realized that public speaking is

actually a teachable skill that means

that if any one of you here wants to

speak powerfully like any of your famous

public speakers yes you can we all can

now some of these solutions work for me

others not so much

like hiring a speech coach that was

outside of my student budget but online

courses that's where I learned how to

vary my tone up and down how do talk

pretty really fast that I could get

someone's excited or to slow right down

to get someone's attention and I

practiced I practiced in front of the

mirror at least that's where I had one

friend who thought I was good as for the

public speaking club Toastmasters that

was fantastic I got to go in front of

others and I got feedback on what I did

good and what I did bad so I did all

these things and I realized that first I

was trapped in this cold dark hole where

the fear of public speaking haunted at

me it pulled me down and over here was

this promise of sunshine of green

pastures no anxiety but the path from

here to here was all over the place I

had to do all these things and I thought

to myself there had to be one simpler

way there had to be one way that I could

go from here and leap to here so I went

back to Google the source of all wisdom

did some research and I started learning

and reading a lot about artificial

intelligence about these personal

assistants we have in our pocket like

Siri Alexa who understand what we're

saying hey Siri was the next meeting I

have they understand what we say what if

they could also understand how you're

saying something and analyze your voice

what if they could be your speech

coaches what if every single person in

the world anywhere had their own

personal on-demand speech coach can you

imagine a world where anyone has this

help to help them overcome this fear of

public speaking to help them speak

powerfully to help them share their

ideas that's the idea that God has

started that's the idea that helped us

create or I aural AI a mobile app that

counts your arms and us a mobile app

that gives you personalized lessons a

place to practice them quietly in

privacy and an app that gives you

instant feedback using artificial

intelligence now a year and a half ago

when my roommate and I started building

this we were no experts all we knew is

that we want to build something we want

to create a solution we were no speech

coaches we were not public speakers we

were no data scientists but we had the

power of the Internet so we read bunch

of research papers on computational


we spoke with hundreds of speech coaches

trying to understand how they give

feedback on their speech we watched

videos on machine learning and

artificial intelligence so that we could

codify all these things and create this

app because we believe that we can use

technology to help people become better

versions of ourselves and the reason I'm

sharing my story with you guys today is

not to tell you guys go out and build

or be entrepreneurs I'm saying go out

and face your fears don't burry them

deep inside if you have a problem look

for a solution if nothing exists create

that solution if you don't have the

skills go to Google find how you can

improve your knowledge and create

something for me it's all started when I

was little that first time I felt the

fear of public speaking

that's what empowered me to act that's

what empowered me to go on this journey

of becoming a better speaker and this

journey is never ending you will never

see the finish line in fact there is no

finish line in public speaking you can

always get better remember that you can

always become a better speaker you only

stop if you tell yourself you're good

enough thank you

by the way I was recording my speech

let's see what feedback or I gives ok so

I had a few filler words like you know

and um my pace

ok 107 worse for a minute not too bad

good energy and then some feedback or I

was giving almost perfect I think I need

to practice a little bit more and it's

saying looks like you'll be hosting a

TED talk at no time and my speech 30 a

plus and my transcript and I can even

play back my audio and listen to itself

check it out