Public Speaking

badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
How do you feel about public speaking? If you want to, elaborate on why you feel that way. Does your job require public speaking? Do you speak publically in your personal life?

I'm curious because I'm currently teaching an intro-level college public speaking course. (I'm a grad student/teaching assistant in communications). My students will deliver their first speeches on Monday, and I can tell that many of them are terrified. Hopefully, the course will help them get over their fears and become more comfortable with public speaking.

To answer my own questions, I am one of those odd people who actually enjoys public speaking. In some ways, I'm more comfortable speaking in front of groups than I am speaking in a one-on-one conversation. I still get nervous right before I speak, but I can usually channel that nervousness in a positive way to enhance my performance. My current academic/professional career certainly requires a LOT of public speaking. Not only do I have to speak in front of my students for two hours three times a week, but I will also be required to make presentations throughout my career as a graduate student. I'm glad that I enjoy public speaking, because if I didn't, being a grad student would be a very unpleasant experience!
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  • MzShvyMzShvy Posts: 121Registered Users
    When I was in high school I had to take Public Speaking, and it was AWFUL. I would be on the verge of tears, because I hated it so much and I would be so nervous. Now it doesn't make me a nervous wreck, but I still don't like it. If I have to, I'll do it, but I definitley don't volunteer.

    "If we get a little crazy, blame it on the alcohol." Pat Green
  • LayaliLayali Posts: 561Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I LOVE putting presentations together, but I dread the actual delivery. I start out visibly nervous, voice shaking, fidgeting, but then I found my groove and usually I end up okay.

    Public speaking was a graduation requirement in my high school. I think this is a great idea, but I felt it was pretty pointless since there were only 8 people in my class.
    naturally 3b/3c

    Explanation by the tongue makes most things clear, but love unexplained is clearer. ~ Rumi
  • PartyHairPartyHair Posts: 7,713Registered Users
    I had to take a public speaking class in college and I thought I'd die of sheer nervousness.

    Then I grew up and became a corporate trainer/consultant. And I learned that I'm a really good public speaker! I enjoy conducting training classes and running meetings/giving presentations. I just really like it.

    I don't get much opportunity in this job for public speaking or training and I really miss it.

    Visualization is what works for me when I have stagefright.

    Rock on with your bad self.


    Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

  • CurlyCanadianCurlyCanadian Posts: 10,904Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Connoisseur
    PartyHair wrote:
    Visualization is what works for me when I have stagefright.

    Any tips? Or do you just picture everyone in there undies? :lol:

    I really enjoy public speaking as long as I know the topic well. When I was on the ship, I was giving perfume seminars to up to 100 people and loved it. Then I was doing Amber seminars for a few hundred and had a really good time. Not sure how I would handle an auditoriom/stage type setting though, I give alot of credit to those who can do that!!!!
    I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
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  • GuardianBGuardianB Posts: 1,905Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I didn't vote since I don't think I really fit any of those.

    I don't mind public speaking and think I perform and deliver rather well but I do have a lot of nervousness when doing it. Sort of like an adrenaline rush. Moments of goosebumps, hand talking, but very few ums and ahs or well. I do tend to speak quickly I've noticed but it still comes across clear I've been told. People don't mind sitting through my classes since I tell them an hour and we are done in 35 minutes. :oops: :lol:
    ~Two friends, one soul inspired~ anonymous
  • MipMip Posts: 233Registered Users
    I'm not keen at giving presentations, especially group ones. I do like arguing a case though. This is good, because if I get the job I want (barrister), I will be doing a lot of public speaking. I do get a bit concerned about how loud my voice is. I have slight hearing difficulties, so I wonder if I sounds too loud or too quiet. I'm not that keen on reading from a sheet either. I find that the emotion and emphasis is more forced. I much prefer just letting loose with my arguments.
  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    I *love* public speaking. As long as I know what I'm talking about-I hate being in front of people when I'm clueless, as I think I come across as a moron in that case. I think a lot of people do-it's just not a good situation to be in.

    If I had musical talent at all, or were a better dancer, I would totally want a career which involved being in front of live audiences. I am a total ham.
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.

    But at least the pews never attend yoga!
  • MizKerriMizKerri Posts: 1,701Registered Users
    Public speaking is a huge fear of mine and every time I have to do it I feel nauseous, my palms sweat, and it just sucks. Yet I am going back to school in January to study Communications with a focus on Public Relations so I am DETERMINED to get over this fear!
    Location: Southern NH

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  • msrebamsreba Posts: 143Registered Users
    Not really sure how to vote in this. I work in a retail job (ice cream scooper) and I really get into my work sometimes, and talking to ALL the customers. Specially if there is a line, just to keep them awake, aware and alive. Sometimes i will start singing badly to what ever song is playing on the radio, or just going "HEY! Hows it GOING!" So in a way its kind of public speaking. I enjoy it, somedays I just thrive on it. Its been my interaction with customers that has made us had repeat customers. And they have told us so. However if its some sort of speech thing or some routine boring presentation. And its all focused on me. Then i'd be shaking like a leaf.
  • PartyHairPartyHair Posts: 7,713Registered Users
    PartyHair wrote:
    Visualization is what works for me when I have stagefright.

    Any tips? Or do you just picture everyone in there undies? :lol:

    I just imagine myself standing up in front of the crowd, then I talk through my entire presentation, including hand gestures, body language, the whole thing. I stand up in the bedroom and do the whole thing for the cat.

    I also imagine myself answering any and all questions the audience might come up with. And I always picture myself rocking their socks. :D It's a confidence booster for me and it never fails to help me remember that I KNOW what I'm talking about, and that I'm a really good speaker.

    Rock on with your bad self.


    Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

  • JessicurlJessicurl Posts: 401Registered Users
    I HATED it in high school, but now I totally dig it, and have noticed that the bigger the crowd, the better I do at it. I've gotten better at it in the last year from joining the Toast Masters.

    I gave a talk to the Rotary a few weeks ago and LOVED it! It was the largest group I've ever spoken to and I found it much easier than smaller groups. Maybe because larger groups laugh louder, and I like making people laugh? Not sure what it is but Dave was like :shock: You were awesome! :shock:

    In a way, yes, my job requires it, partly because I own the company, but also because lately I keep getting asked to come speak to different groups. I like it a LOT better than doing sales calls, that's for dern sure.
    If you're not going to make your dreams epic, why bother to dream anything at all? -Scott Miller
  • curlymelcurlymel Posts: 359Registered Users
    I don't hate speaking, but I don't love it either. I have to do it a fair amount for my job. I usually do a good job, but am still nervous. I think a lot of it has to do with how well prepared you are. I also have played the flute for 18 years and did a lot of recitals, so I think that helped. But I am shy/quiet by nature, so I really prefer to stay out of the spotlight.
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  • enjoy the silenceenjoy the silence Posts: 1Registered Users
    I'm not too fond of public speaking, but I'll do it if I have to. If I know a great deal about what I'm talking about and feel prepared, then it's not as bad. I'm always nervous beforehand, but once I start talking, I feel more relaxed. I'm defnitely better at it than I used to be.
    Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.
  • dia99dia99 Posts: 1,998Registered Users
    HATE it! I sing, and I hate singing solos. I write, and I hate doing readings. I am a teacher, and I hate teaching adults anything.

    I am constantly being asked to present things, though, and my teacher's put me into oratory contests junior high through college. I also sang with a professional choir and went around the country and to other countries and I am still not over this fear. I actually cry when I have to do it. 8) I just do it anyway when I know it's necessary, but will always defer to someone else if they can do it.

    I just presented a talk with DaNa last weekend on the art of communication. All of the "big wigs" of my church were there - CEOs, the history department chair at UH, pastors, bank vice-president, etc. I was not nervous at all with hubby standing by my side, even though I did most of the talking. That was the first time in my life that I actually enjoyed being in front of a crowd. :D
    People rise to the standard expected of them. GC
  • KrazyblondegurlKrazyblondegurl Posts: 1,008Registered Users
    I hate it...but will do it when necessary. I'd rather pose in Playboy nude. :wink:
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Its my job and I enjoy it. I teach at the college-level as well, and have taught classes of 300 students. It doesn't bother so long as I know what I'm talking about.

    I think if people I went to high school with knew what I do, they would be surprised. I've always been pretty quiet and self-conscious. But sometime in my 20's that all changed. Now I can get up in front of a big group without even thinking about it.

  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    Hmm, I guess I'm not so weird after all - as of right now the majority of you like public speaking, too. :)

    Visualization works really well for me, too. I do the same thing that PH does, minus the cat. Visualization is also one of the techniques we teach our students to get over stage fright, too. It not only helps them conquer their fears, but it also helps them practice their delivery.

    I don't really know where the old advice to picture your listeners in their underwear came from, but that idea seems like such a bad one! If your audience members are attractive, you might get distracted. If they're unattractive, you might get grossed out. Either way, it seems like it would make you less comfortable, not more! I teach a group of 18-19 year-olds, and the last thing I want them to do is to picture each other in their underwear. :shock:
  • EnafaeEnafae Posts: 24Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I am a fitness instructor and I am fine in front of large groups of people as long as I am teaching a class. But put me behind a podium, And I get sick to my stomach and my knees shake. I have never quite figured that out. :?
    3a/b redheaded Irish gal!
    CG since October 10, 2002
    formerly arobxinstructr
  • PoPo Posts: 2,607Registered Users

    Did you ever have Stephen Lucas as a prof? He's the author of the book that we are using in my comm class this semester.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,898Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    If I'm very familiar with the subject matter, I have no problem. If I am unsure of material, it's a nightmare.

  • jada1111jada1111 Posts: 829Registered Users
    PartyHair wrote:
    PartyHair wrote:
    Visualization is what works for me when I have stagefright.

    Any tips? Or do you just picture everyone in there undies? :lol:

    I just imagine myself standing up in front of the crowd, then I talk through my entire presentation, including hand gestures, body language, the whole thing. I stand up in the bedroom and do the whole thing for the cat.

    I think this is so cute! I'm just trying to picture what the cat is saying in its mind. :lol:

    HAIR TYPE: 4a all over/3c around nape/edges; Last relaxer -4/4/02; Big chop - 4/16/03
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