Yes, when I give a speech but not in just everyday conversations. I get nervous when more than four people are paying attention to what I'm saying at the same time. I find that it helps not to look anyone in the audience directly in the eye but to definitely look around the whole span of people. Also, it helps to speak slower than I feel the urge to. When a lot of people are paying attention, I want to get it over with so I want to rush through what I'm saying but I fight that urge because its more important for those people to understand what I'm saying. Another big thing is breathing. I have to make a conscious effort to pace my breathing. That goes hand in hand with not rushing through what I'm saying.
No. The first time was unexpected: on a sales call, I got ushered into an auditorium where several dozen people were waiting. I had to do an off the cuff presentation, with no chance to be scared.
More recently I spoke to over 4,000 people, almost half strongly disliking what I had to say. I was a little apprehensive before speaking, but it was short - a single double spaced page, so it didn't take long. In a way it was easier knowing that so many would automatically dislike me - there was nothing I could do to change that, so nothing to be nervous about.
What Ri says is right. Take your time. Don't rush.
Nerves can cause a lack of breath. If you feel this happening the secret is to say a sentence, pause, breath in, breath out, then say another sentence. If you can say one sentence you can say a hundred one at a time.
There is nothing wrong with feeling nervous, but it is wrong to let your nerves get the better of you.
I am now one of those people who, given time to prepare a speech, or being asked to present a speech or story I've told many times before, absolutely love to do so. I love it. To me it is now one of life's pleasures. For example, this year I am looking forward to speaking for forty-five minutes to an audience of 700 people. Over the past 30 years I've probably given a thousand presentations and spoken before 45,000 people.
It was not always the case. The first time I had to present a speech I was terrified. Spoiled not only that day for me but quite a few leading up to it. Then I joined a Toastmaster Club. Yes, I was still frightened to the point it took me twenty minutes to get out of my car and walk the short distance to the venue.
But then came the encouragement, the positive feedback and the mentoring for those who had been through what I was now experiencing.
The point I make is this. Take the risk! Keep taking it! Keep on going until one day you realize that, although you might be a little nervous at the very beginning of that presentation (this is common even with experienced speakers) you are now proud of what you can do. Then keep on keeping on.
Every now and again you will sort of take a 'quantum leap' in improvement. One does not always rise steadily, but plateus for a while, then another quick rise, then another plateau. Then up you go again. It is like any skill. Application, practice, that is what is required. And then one day you, too, will look forward to the opportunity to speak in front of others.
I totally agree...Speaking in front of people can be practiced and can even make you feel good about yourself. Unfortunately it’s not that easy for me as it seems to be for you, Tusitala Tom. For some month now I am taking lessons to improve my prese
Thanks to all of you for your wonderful answers. I just hope I remember them the next time I'm called on to speak!! All jokes aside, the tips and suggestions are all practical and doable; so again, thank you! Tom, I so look forward to the day when I will love speaking before an audience. Not there yet!
Not really, I think what I experience is more of an adrenaline rush. I love public speaking. I always have. One of my favorite classes was speech. I love to lead conferences, meetings, public speaking events, etc.. It's what I do.
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