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Public Speaking Stories - Are You Good at It? Terrified of it?

I avoid it if at all possible, but wish I wasn't that way. I just have never been comfortable with it and if I can't avoid it I will dread it for days ahead of time. Ultimately it ends up going okay and I wonder why I was so nervous,

by Anonymousreply 11June 16, 2023 2:46 PM

I used to get so nervous when I had to give presentations in school (lit major). My sister actually dropped out of college after the first semester when she learned that a Speech class was mandatory.

I’m grad school I became far more relaxed, the seminar classes were smaller & I knew almost everyone. My piece de resistance was my 2hr presentation on Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It was outstanding & I got an A.

by Anonymousreply 1May 23, 2023 1:31 AM

No problems at all giving presentations in front of large groups. The problem I have is speaking spontaneously. I have to very prepared to feel comfortable.

by Anonymousreply 2May 23, 2023 1:42 AM

I can talk myself into feeling totally comfortable doing it, and then I can overthink and psych myself out and do poorly. The older I get, it seems to be easier. I’d rather not do it though.

by Anonymousreply 3May 23, 2023 1:46 AM

“Good” is a relative term. I love public speaking and will go on until my listeners are stuporous. Give me a laugh or a smile and I’m good for another 20 minutes.

by Anonymousreply 4May 23, 2023 2:02 AM

I don't mind at all making a presentation or speech in front of a group of people.

When I was a senior in college, I took a class called 'public speaking'. It was the best class I ever had - learned so much from the teacher (and older woman who spoke with a Scottish accent). I remember she taught us never to say "Ummmmm" or "Uhhhhh" - once we do it, be conscious of it and don't do it again. (That helps).

Also, always look people in the eye - if you're making a presentation in a room, and people are seated in front of you, make eye contact with each person sitting in the front of the room (if you're standing at a podium, or sitting at a head tabel) . If you're standing on stage in a larger auditorium - look to the middle of the seating area, and pretend you're focusing on each person sitting there.

by Anonymousreply 5May 23, 2023 2:07 AM

It’s one of the few things I’m good at. Always surprises me that it’s considered one of the scariest things for most people. OP, my best advice is to simply make it conversational. Don’t make it anything too scripted. Your audience wants to like you and be engaged. So just be yourself and talk to them —not at them.

by Anonymousreply 6May 23, 2023 2:59 AM

I once was giving a training presentation to a group of employees and was doing fine giving my intro and a little bit of what we call "housekeeping" when my immediate supervisor walked in and sat herself in the back of the room. I immediately lost my train of thought and started to stammer and talk gibberish, my heart starting beating quickly, my ears started to burn, and this wave of anxiety was about to get the best of me. I took a deep breath, excused myself, walked out to get some fresh air and gathered my composure. It was such an embarrassing episode, but I went back in and finished my presentation.

by Anonymousreply 7May 23, 2023 5:37 AM

I used to find it very stressful when I was a student. Speaking in front of a group comprised of homophobic meatheads would bring me out in a sweat, and my voice would reduce to a terrified squeak. Everything changed when I got out of that environment.

by Anonymousreply 8May 23, 2023 5:56 AM

I never took a public speaking class in college and in graduate school I had to give my first class presentation and I thought I was going to pass out in front of 15 students. But that was 20 something years ago.

Today I can stand in front of maybe 400 to 500 people and present for 30 minutes at a conference and it doesn’t bother me at all.

If you put me on the stage and asked me to act or sing, I’d have a public meltdown. But when you have worked in the same field, or on the same project for years, and you know it inside and out, standing up and talking about it is so second nature that it doesn’t matter how large the audience is, or who is in attendance. You just know it. If you know what you’re talking about, the nerves just seem to go away.

They only come back when someone asks a really dumb question, and you don’t understand what they’re asking because what they’re asking doesn’t make sense, and you don’t want to embarrass them, and then I get nervous. That has happened to me. Not frequently, but it throws you off your game and there’s just no good way to tell somebody “your question is the kind of question that doesn’t make any sense, so could you please rephrase that in another way? Preferably one that can be addressed by the information I presented?”

by Anonymousreply 9May 23, 2023 6:10 AM


by Anonymousreply 10May 24, 2023 3:36 PM

I used to think I was good at it!

by Anonymousreply 11June 16, 2023 2:46 PM
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