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Thread: Public Speaking

  1. #1
    Cyburbian jenniplans's avatar
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    Does anyone else get absolutely nauseous at the thought of public speaking and it continues to and after the podium? I do and avoid it at all possible costs. Someone asked how I got through grad school (jerk) and I said that I did a lot of the behind of the scenes research and data analysis (my strengths) and my group mates presented the data. In the classes where I had to get in front of everyone and talk, my grades suffered.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, throw all of the cliches at me. Need to get used to it and just learn to deal with it. But for me, it's a no go zone once the vurps start coming.

    Sorry, just needed to vent tonight...

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jenniplans
    Does anyone else get absolutely nauseous at the thought of public speaking and it continues to and after the podium? I do and avoid it at all possible costs. Someone asked how I got through grad school (jerk) and I said that I did a lot of the behind of the scenes research and data analysis (my strengths) and my group mates presented the data. In the classes where I had to get in front of everyone and talk, my grades suffered.
    I really want to reply to this but I don't know what to say. That isn't a big problem for me. I get nervous but I don't think it is a real big deal. It makes me wonder what "causes" it. I know my extreme introvert husband finds public speaking torturous but he has learned to cope with it well enough that most people do not realize it still gives him the willies. I just wonder if there is some way to figure out what about it does that to you and then try to address different pieces of it...or something...

    Just trying to be supportive.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Jul 2005 at 2:02 PM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally posted by jenniplans
    Does anyone else get absolutely nauseous at the thought of public speaking and it continues to and after the podium? I do and avoid it at all possible costs. Someone asked how I got through grad school (jerk) and I said that I did a lot of the behind of the scenes research and data analysis (my strengths) and my group mates presented the data. In the classes where I had to get in front of everyone and talk, my grades suffered.

    (
    I have the same problem, although probably not to the same extent as you. I used to avoid it all costs but recently have had to do more and more of it (including two 'best man' speeches). It's getting a little easier for me with experience but I still don't like it. I'm fine after the podium, just incredibly relieved

  4. #4
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jenniplans
    Does anyone else get absolutely nauseous at the thought of public speaking and it continues to and after the podium?...
    I'm surprised Throgmorton didn't cure that for you. Have you looked into Toastmasters, I've heard it works.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giff57
    I'm surprised Throgmorton didn't cure that for you. Have you looked into Toastmasters, I've heard it works.
    I'm active in Toastmasters, and yes, it does work. It's not an instant fix - you actually have to attend meetings and be active and want to improve. We have one member who gave her first speech about a year ago. She spoke so softly we couldn't hear most of the speech, she was shaking and sweating, and at one point she tried to sit down without finishing the speech. Now, 10 speeches and many active meeting roles later, she is more comfortable in front of the group. She still sweats, but the shakes stop once she gets going, and she can do it.

    Again, let me say that Toastmasters isn't for everyone. But if you're willing to commit the time and be involved (take part in meetings and give speeches), then Toastmasters can help you with your public speaking fears.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jenniplans's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giff57
    I'm surprised Throgmorton didn't cure that for you. ...
    In Throg's class we sat down and talked, which I don't have a problem with. But when I stand up, something happens with the brain / mouth connection.

    Another thing I discovered after Throg's class was how much he likes his own voice.

  7. #7
         
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    I have gotten used to speaking in public, however, I am not good in front of a group that I don't know. I just recently have been able to stand up in front of less formal meetings to speak, I used to just stay seated. At most of my meetings I am sitting at a table and never have to stand up...however, I can feel the cameras turn and focus on me when I am speaking, it makes me very nervous and very self concious. It has been good for me though because when I watch the tapes (no, not because I like to see myself, but because the secretaries do the minutes from those tapes ) I can see some habits I have and have been concious to changes them...such as touching my face when I am speaking...I do think the only reason I am more confortable with public speaking than when I was in college is because of how many times I have had to do it. One of the worst was speaking at an APA conference with regard to a redevelopment project I am working on. I was prepared and everything, I got up to speak and I couldn't get words out of my mouth to talk. When I sat down I honestly wondered if the people listening thought I wa crazy...apparently I did alright, THEY understood what I had said, even if I didn't

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jenniplans
    Does anyone else get absolutely nauseous at the thought of public speaking and it continues to and after the podium? . . .
    I'm not a big fan of public speaking and haven't quite solved it yet but. . . I find there is a degree of "acting" involved with public speaking - getting out of your comfort zone and pretending you're a confident son-of-a-bitch who enjoys giving presentations. Know the answers to most likely questions before hand. I wouldn't have any problems with a best man speech. Hell, I even perform music in front of people, but when I know the scowling NIMBY's are out there to grill me in a professional setting it's much worse. No one loses investments of thousands of dollars if you sing a bad note.

    Could this topic be its own thread? I'm sure its important to a lot of people here.
    Last edited by Seabishop; 21 Jul 2005 at 3:10 PM.

  9. #9
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    Could this topic be its own thread? I'm sure its important to a lot of people here.
    Moderator note:
    Thread split.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    I was nervous at my very first council meeting I had to attend, but after about a minute, I got over it. I had to give a presentation at a conference of local elected officials, mayors, city managers, etc.(about 500 people) earlier this year that felt like I gave myself an ulcer over. I felt that I did an incredible poor job, but obviously people were interested because there were about 20 minutes of questions.

    I wish I had some advice, but don't.

  11. #11
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jenniplans
    Another thing I discovered after Throg's class was how much he likes his own voice.
    Which is exactly why I added the winky.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    I used to be deathly afraid of speaking in public, but now it's gotten to be a bit of a high for me. I still get the willies before I start, but after that I feel great. I find the best thing to do is to have a speech prepared word-for-word for when I get up there. No matter how scared you get, as long as you can keep on reading you can't go wrong. By the time I'm done with the speech I'm usually comfortable enough up there that I can handle Q&A without problems.

    In chicago, the best place to get experience is at the College of Complexes. People are caustic and assertive there so it can be a real baptism of fire, but after that even public meetings are a breeze (of course I've never been behind the table at a public meeting like the planners here, but the speakers often don't even get a table.).

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    I have no advice to give to get over the fear of public speaking, because I'm the only person that I know that LIKES it. I always have, even in middle school. I look forward to it.
    The cookies are worth the drive

  14. #14
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    I find that I give speaches or direct meetings best when I have a good outline, writen in the way I think. I use certain words to jostle my brain into my next thought. I also take a momemnt during meetings when I think I should add more information to ask the attendees if they have questions or think I should have mentioned or covered something. I'm not afraid to BS my way through any answer I don't know the answer to.

    I always feel anxious and excited before a presentation, definentely shakey.. but I CMA good enough to look confident and smart.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I LOVE public speaking. I don't know what it is, but I get all fired up get out there and do my thing. I make sure I know my topic well and I have fun with it. Some people think that I am crazy. I was even a student presenter at the 2001 APA Conference in N.O.! I had a ball with that one, even though it was more or less scripted by my classmates.

    There was some motivational/ religious talks that I did about the Passion shortly after the movie came out. I guess I did a good job because I was asked to do the same talk at several retreats in the diocese.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  16. #16
         
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    Public speaking is one of the hardest skills to acquire. It takes a lot of practice. The nervous part is a help bacause to get the adrenalyn (sp) flowing.

    One of the most important things about speaking to groups is to know your subject.

    I have no problem public speaking (not that I like it), but I always prepare and know what I will be speaking on.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian jenniplans's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giff57
    Which is exactly why I added the winky.
    Don't forget about Fuller and his eyebrows.

  18. #18
    After 8 years in planning and presenting information to people I am much more comfortable than when I started. I find that I get more uptight and nervous if I seriously prepare for a presentation. My solution has been to make sure that I know what I am talking about, without trying to memorize an exact speech. I try to keep the presentation as conversational as possible and actually look forward to someone asking a question as it gives me a slight break. Even if I can't answer the question well, it provides me a few seconds to say "now where was I" and get back on track if I have wandered at all.

    Then again, I mostly present information to the public, public officials, or to our various committees. I haven't had to give any conference presentations or anything like that.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    SPublic speaking

    I, too, love public speaking. What is strange about this is that growing up I was a painfully shy kid. I remember being terribly nervous at Burger King once as my parents encouraged me to go order for myself. "But what if they ask me something I am not prepared for!?" I thought "I don't really KNOW if I want pickles or not..."

    Thirty years later, I relish the opportunity to address a group. I think what did it for me was a year and a half living in Uganda. At the time (1992), there had been very few western visitors to Uganda in some time and, especiallly in the villages, I was a great big, obvious curiosity that attracted hordes (and this is not joke) of children who, while keeping their distance, would chant "muzungu! muzungu! muzungu!" (which means "white person"). I felt that I was constantly on display there, always being watched and rarely finding privacy (at least in the way we think of it).

    Ever since this experience, I have shed my hyper self-consciouness and become more comfortable in my own skin.

    Of course, a trip to Uganda is a bit pricy (among other obstacles), but I imagine there are other experiences one could delve into to become less self-aware. What about acting classes? A community play? Some other performance class? I have taken some courses in these areas and found them very useful in terms of projection, physicality and, most importantly, techniques to calm the nerves.

    I do still get nervous, by the way, but I have learned to perversely enjoy this annxiety. I also usually outline what I am going to say and use solo time (especially driving in the car) to run through it all a few times. Then what I say comes out much more naturally and with a greater sense of importance which seems to reach people better.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Salmissra
    I'm active in Toastmasters, and yes, it does work.. . Again, let me say that Toastmasters isn't for everyone. But if you're willing to commit the time and be involved (take part in meetings and give speeches), then Toastmasters can help you with your public speaking fears.
    I agree. I belong to Toastmasters and it has helped me. Not so much that I get nervous speaking, but has helped a great deal in making my public speaking more natural and more listener-friendly. After a few speeches, you feel a lot more comfortable and good advice is given.

    Try it. They welcome guests. The meetings are usually advertised in the local newspaper, or you can go online and get a list of clubs in your area.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  21. #21
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jenniplans
    Don't forget about Fuller and his eyebrows.
    I have a funny story about those. When I was in grad school, my wife was going to the cosmetology school over on Market Street. John came in for a cheap haircut and the girl that was cutting his hair wanted to trim them. He told her that was his thing, my wife who had met him at some function freaked that she even asked him.

    Back on topic, I used to have some trouble and was very nervous. In a speech class we video taped our speeches and went over them with the Prof when the were graded. I found that I didn't even appear the slightest bit nervous. After that, I kind of enjoy it. I really like the really hot ones where they try to rattle you, I love it when I stay cool and they get frustrated. That is a rush.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  22. #22
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Try Ativan...
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Public speaking is one of my phobias. Back in college, I used to get phyically ill at the thought. But, I have to do it for my job. I've finally managed to be OK at formal presentations in public hearings, and can even run informal public meetings well, but what I really hate are speeches when some trade group, neighborhood association, or whatever, calls our speaker's bureau. Those 20 to 30 minute presentations are draining. Maybe it's because I figure most of the audience is there for lunch and other business and might get bored. I have always been surprised that my co-workers think I do a much better job than I think I do.

  24. #24
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I, too, don't have much difficulty. I am only nervous if I don't now the information I'm talking about very well.

    I, like giff, like playing the superior role when someone is trying to cath me out on some info/detail about a project. It is a nice rush.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
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    Ugh... public speaking.... I'll pass on that one please...
    I don't have much of a problem, except that I sweat a lot and I do get quite tense, but I can do it... I don't like it but I won't die because of it....

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