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How to get over fear of public speaking? Halp!


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#31 tbassett

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:21 PM

knowing material is key; i also think about two other things. when you are watching someone speak in public what do you think about them? Not much right, if your interested you pay attention, if not you don't. So everyone in the crowd is doing the same thing. half probably aren't paying attention to you and the other half probably wants to hear what you say.

The other thing is to not forget a couple seconds of silence is not a bad thing. It seems like forever when your the one speaking but it's not. Don't rush and just take your time.

#32 Kendro

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 12:29 AM

I myself abhor speaking in public but unfortunately due to my job, I have been forced to conduct training sessions in front of a group of I've never met before, conduct WebEx trainings online (people see what is on your computer and you are basically on a conference call with a bunch of people), and I also have to participate in weekly meetings.

The bad news? It doesn't get any easier the more you do it. The good news? People aren't sitting there waiting for you to mess up or care if you are beet red. Have you ever listened to someone else speak in public? If they made a nervous slip, are you going to spend the rest of your day talking about it? Nope.

Don't concentrate on where to look or how to stand. Simply concentrate on your material. If you know your material inside and out, you will gain confidence naturally. Think about when you're having a conversation with a friend discussing a game or a movie. 100% of the time when you are talking about it, you're main focus is to get your point or opinion across. You're not even spending 0.0001% thinking about "Should I look at my friend's forehead when I speak to him or should I look at his nose?".

You're there to share information with others who don't know the material as well as you do. As long as they get a single useful thing out of the presentation, they will be satisfied.

#33 parKer

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:09 AM

100% of the time when you are talking about it, you're main focus is to get your point or opinion across. You're not even spending 0.0001% thinking about "Should I look at my friend's forehead when I speak to him or should I look at his nose?".

You're there to share information with others who don't know the material as well as you do. As long as they get a single useful thing out of the presentation, they will be satisfied



True, but the OP is talking about a speech class.

That is the difference between a graded public speaking class versus actually giving a formal presentation. For speech class, how you present is more important than what you present, which differs totally in the real world where content is king.

In my high school speech class, on Mondays, the teacher gave out random topics like "how to eat a hamburger" or "why am I taking speech class" or "if I had $20..." You got 5 minutes to prepare and then you gave a 5 minute impromptu speech. She checked to see if you followed guidelines on how to give a speech. How you present > What you present.

Anyone who's ever taken a speech course knows the drill: eye contact, speech flow, volume, filler words, material flow, etc. These will all be scrutinized significantly more compared to just talking to a friend or training personnel. Teachers love catching mistakes, so it's best to train yourself to not make them in the first place.


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#34 Kay_Faraday

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:38 AM

Thank you guys for the helpful advice. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one with speech anxiety.

I gave my speech a few days ago and prior to that I rehearsed like a mofo.

I brought my index cards to read off of but my nerves took over so much that I forgot to look at them. :lol: My face didnt flush but my voice was shaky and I was extremely fidgety. Overall I did ok. She gave me a B. :bouncy:

And during my speech the words just kind of came out but I was thinking the entire time "where should I look? stop looking at that person!"

I made eye contact(perhaps too much) with 3 people(why did those people catch my attention? I dont know). There are 25-30 people in the class. Those 3 people might think i'm weird now.

If you're worried about how you look or are perceived, your concentration is in the wrong direction. They're there to listen to what you have to say, not you there to await their approval.

Give yourself permission. Don't expect it from them. You won't get it.


I really like what you said ^. I'm going to chant that from now on before a speech. Please give me strength. :pray:

#35 hotpocketninja

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:46 AM

I have the same problem :(

#36 Kay_Faraday

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:58 AM

I have the same problem :(


Let form a support group. :whee:

#37 Brownjohn

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:48 PM

Get some Xanax.
To each his own.

#38 Lieutenant Dan

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:07 PM

A "B" is good. Congrats OP. Thanks for the update.

Remember what you learned and next time will be easier (assuming you are prepared) because you know you can do it now.

#39 Canadian_Man

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:03 AM

Not that this will help you for for short term, but conquer yourself and your insecurities.

#40 hotpocketninja

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:01 AM

Let form a support group. :whee:


I've dropped a lot of classes too and done many things to avoid talking to people. I was not like this in high school, well... not really. :cry: