The skin goes pale, the hands start shaking, sweat beads on my forehead and my mind runs at 100 miles per hour. It has awfully similar traits to the flu, yet the cure is in the instant I stepped away from the podium. The weight is lifted, and a tingly feeling rushes through my body, relinquishing my taught muscles and flush face. I then walk back to my seat. When I glance around the room, I notice no one is staring; no one is laughing. My performance had been forgotten, and the next speaker starts their own battle with the demon of public speaking.
In grade school, I remember feeling physically sick before being called upon in class to give a two minute presentation. Most of us do back then. I first started to get better at public speaking by thinking about the feeling after. I would think, in 5 minutes I have a huge daunting task in front of me, but no matter how it goes, no matter if I flop on the entire speech, in 10 minutes I’ll be back in my seat and it will all be over.
That tactic has helped me enormously, coupled with years of classes from college and the like, public speaking has become something different than as a kid. I’m still scared, I still shake, but I know that when I’m up there, I have a point to get across and an audience to entertain. I can’t let them down, so I give them a good show, and you know what? I like it. [via]
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