Public Speaking : LUSENET : A Village Commons : One Thread

I am giving a brief presentation (3-4 minutes)this Saturday, June 1st in front of about 300 people. I am well prepared with written remarks. I intend not to read my remarks but will speak off the cuff (I have them fairly well memorized) - I am basically introducing and acknowledging the main speaker. My problem is that I sometimes get overly-anxious under such circumstances and do not want to appear nervous. I am not a public speaker. In the past I felt I have stumbled with my delivery and sounded "breathy" or obviously nervous. Does anyone have any last minute suggestions or comments on ways to alleviate this and with any help when speaking in front of a fairly large group. Thank You!

-- peter bosco (, May 31, 2002


A stiff drink? ;)

-- Earthmama (, May 31, 2002.

Concentrate on eye contact with no more than 4 people in various sectors of the room. This will both calm you and give the impression of rolling eye contact.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, May 31, 2002.

Talk slowly, when you are nervous you naturally talk too fast...

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, May 31, 2002.

Rehearse the talk in private. Often times hearing ourselves is a shock. Get comfortable with hearing yourself talk loudly.

-- paul (, June 02, 2002.

As the previous poster said, practice on yourself. I've found tape recording a talk at normal speaking volume to be helpful. On occasions I've been amazed at either how fast I was talking or how much I mumbled!

Good luck!


-- Jason AZ (, June 03, 2002.

Hi, I can tell you two things. First, the more you do the thing (public speaking), the easier it will becomed. I took way to long to learn this, thinking "I'd get over it". I finally HAD to become active in this arena when I was threatened with a land use issue which would have affected my property value to the tune of over $100,000.

I was gradually getting more and more self confident (and I can say I was the second worst public speaker, as far as nervousness, that I've ever met!). I had to do a LONG presentation on TV, before the local politicos, the press, etc, and wanted to make darn sure I did a good job, as there were over forty other families counting on my testimony for the same reason I was-the land value thing.

A friend, who happens to be a pulmonologist, was telling me that he had to speak before over 1000 people for his doctoral presentation. He, along with most other young doctoral candidates, used a "beta blocker" to deal with this. He gave me an unlimited prescription, after making sure I had no heart problems.

I began using this drug, and I can tell you that it will overcome ALL nervousness, with no side effects that I could feel. I used it many times, whenever I had really big crowds to speak to, etc.

I gradually have weaned myself from it, as the self confidence I gained from all the successes I had gradually made it less an less important to me.

The particular drug I used was called Propranolol. Check it out!

BTW, I am now actually ENJOYING public speaking!

I wish you the best of luck!

Oh, another little "tool" I learned to use is positive visualization. This is not always easy to do, but try to always maintain an attitude of self confidence. Don't give in to the real desire to give in to fear, but push any thoughts of a bad "performance" out of your head. Concentrate on any good speaking experiences you've had, even if they are simply short statements; try to not let memories of bad experiences enter your mind. Push them out!

-- shaky (ann@a.mouse), June 04, 2002.

One other thing; my son, who is required to do public speaking very frequently, taught me this one. If you're using notes, in bold letters here and there write SLOW DOWN, every so often, and BREATHE, here and there. This has also helped me a great deal. It's amazing how it keeps me focused, and allows me to just stop, take a deep breath, and relax. A long pause, for this purpose, can actually be a good accent for your speech.

-- shaky (same@as.before), June 04, 2002.

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