Thursday, 10 July 2014

One key way to beat the fear of public speaking

I have my first presentation on my research coming up. 'Wow' 'fantastic' 'how exciting' my family say. I'm secretly panicking. You see I have a fear of public speaking. I can easily lecture to a room full of pre-service teachers, I can talk day in and day delivering lessons to six year olds, yet given my big chance to present my very own research to respected academics and I panic. That's right presenting on MY topic. A topic that I have spent three years researching and continuing to research in associated areas. 

A week to go, slides are done, a practice run through worked and I finally have had a full nights sleep without waking with the fear that people will 'think' I'm stupid, no good at both opening my mouth and at my research. What evidence do I have to base these thoughts? None. 

So how did I get my confidence back to overcome my fear of public speaking next week?
I found a killer opening sentence that gives me a sense of ease and most likely the audience's attention.The opening line could be anything related to your topic. I went with a quote that would go on to prove my point why my research matters. Probably best to stay away from a joke as your opening line though - unless of course your topic is based on research about what makes a good comedian. 

Once I knew how I was going to begin my presentation, I stopped worrying. I believe if I don't do the presentation then I fail.  But if I do the presentation even if I mess it up- I win because I will stand up and still present my research. 

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