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When you are public speaking, are you relaxed or nervous?

 
 
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 10:43 am
During my working years, I had to do a lot of public speaking. Most of the time, I was relaxed. Once in a while, I would get nervous. I don't know why that would happen but something must have triggered my nervousness. I think the most difficult speaking probably was to large audiences of several hundred people. Small groups seem to easier.

What are your experiences while you are speaking publicly?

How do you prepare to speak?

Do you speak from notes or read from written text?

How do you overcome "stage fright?"

How do you relate to your audience?

How do you prepare to answer questions?

BBB
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 962 • Replies: 14
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 11:31 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:

During my working years, I had to do a lot of public speaking. Most of the time, I was relaxed. Once in a while, I would get nervous. I don't know why that would happen but something must have triggered my nervousness. I think the most difficult speaking probably was to large audiences of several hundred people. Small groups seem to easier.

What are your experiences while you are speaking publicly?

I've had many experiences. Speaking before small groups, medium-sized groups, and large groups. The one and only time I was nervous was when I had to speak before several hundred people. I was introducing a book I wrote. I didn't like my presentation. I had an idea to fix it. It was much better, and I stopped being nervous. It went well. I was asked for my autograph.



How do you prepare to speak? For big, formal presentations, I make notes. I've also made slides, which move me along. For short or informal presentations, I think about what I'm gonna say, and then I say it. I recently spoke at a press conference for public hospitals in NYC. I was told I'd have about a minute. I just thought about what I could say in that time. Then I said it. Made people laugh.

Do you speak from notes or read from written text? From notes or spontaneously. Never ever from written text. Ever!

How do you overcome "stage fright?" Never had stage fright.

How do you relate to your audience? I look at them. Try to make eye contact. I speak publicly pretty much the way I talk privately, except I don't use dirty words in public.

How do you prepare to answer questions? I don't prepare. I just answer them.
BBB
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 11:36 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
What are your experiences while you are speaking publicly?

Mostly good! I don't do as much of it anymore and I do miss it.

How do you prepare to speak?

Gosh depends. More scholarly stuff needs more prep.

Do you speak from notes or read from written text?

See above. Usually I just memorize the high points and then go from point to point. Sometimes I write down the high points if there are a lot of them. I've been known to use PowerPoint (I know it's evil but in signed presentations it makes things so much easier, I just look at the screen and keep going).

How do you overcome "stage fright?"

Usually don't have it to overcome, I have occasionally, usually when I have to speak-speak (instead of do it in ASL) and I worry about my voice quality/ volume. I speak pretty well but I'm terrible at projecting.

How do you relate to your audience?

The eye contact thing. Definitely adjust according to reactions. Build on funny stuff if it's getting a good response, go faster if people look bored with that part, ask questions/ get participation from audience, etc. etc.

How do you prepare to answer questions?

I don't usually prepare, usually it's something where I can answer questions off the top of my head.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 12:32 pm
What are your experiences while you are speaking publicly?
I've also had a lot of experience in a lot of different circumstances. I won scholarships for oratorical contests I won when I was a teenager. I joined Toastmaster's when I was in Hawaii during my Army time. I had to address large groups of soldiers regularly as an instructor at the Army Med Dept Academy. I have to speak occasionally in front of a group of recovering alcoholics/addicts as a part of my own continuing recovery

How do you prepare to speak?
Depends, but mostly I try to be super familiar with what I want to say - if not memorized, then at least I know the information I want to share very well.

Do you speak from notes or read from written text?
I do better with notes if for no other reason than as a security blanket.

How do you overcome "stage fright?"
It's funny to me that the number one fear most adults name is the fear of public speaking, and yet no one here at A2K seems to even know the meaning of the 'f' word. Well, I unfortunately am an exception to the stalwart orators here. I've gotten stage fright, and flop sweats, and borderline panic on occasion, and my years of experience haven't served to completely eliminate those occasions. I have learned some things that help me cope and at least appear calm, but the biggest thing is to have mastery of the material.

How do you relate to your audience?
I like to get a laugh whenever I can (if the occasion is appropriate for it), and as early in the presentation as I can. that tensds to lessen the 'distance' between me and the audience. And look 'em in the eyes.

How do you prepare to answer questions?
Hmmm, that one threw me. I dunno that I've ever prepared specifically for questions, but just answer 'em as they come.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 01:00 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
During my working years, I had to do a lot of public speaking.
Most of the time, I was relaxed. Once in a while, I would get nervous.
If u concentrate your attention on the subject matter and its value,
and how well its going over with the audience
(instead of on yourself), then that will not happen.





BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
I don't know why that would happen but something must have triggered my nervousness.
I think the most difficult speaking probably was to large audiences
of several hundred people.

Small groups seem to easier.
I did not find that to be the case; no problem.



BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
What are your experiences while you are speaking publicly?
I just wanted to get the job DONE successfully; usually involved convincing.





BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
How do you prepare to speak?
By ORGANIZING my presentation.



BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Do you speak from notes or read from written text?
Not unless it is too long or complex





BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
How do you overcome "stage fright?"
I have no fear of stages.





BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
How do you relate to your audience?
ordinary




BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
How do you prepare to answer questions?

BBB
thru competent understanding of the subject matter





David
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 01:43 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
What are your experiences while you are speaking publicly?
I love public speaking. It's almost always a good experience for me.

How do you prepare to speak?
I try to think of what I'll say -- it depends on the context. When I used to teach, I had extensive written notes. When I've toasted my mother at a large family gathering for her birthday, I've winged it.

Do you speak from notes or read from written text?
Rarely either, unless it's something with details that I have to know really, really well. Then, just notes.

How do you overcome "stage fright?"
I don't get it. I do get excited at the beginning -- first few words or sentences are often rushed, then I settle into the flow.

How do you relate to your audience?
Humor, almost always.

How do you prepare to answer questions?
I try to allow for what people would normally ask. When I taught paralegals, I knew the material so I'd anticipate questions about anything I couldn't cover in the lecture. When I taught Excel classes, I'd also wait for something I couldn't cover in the main time allotment. If I didn't know the answer, I'd say I'd research it, then I'd get back to people in email or when we'd next meet.
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 02:12 pm
What are your experiences while you are speaking publicly?
I was horrified when I was FORCED to sign up for a mandatory Public Speaking class. I thought I'd wind up standing there muttering - but actually that class gave me what I needed to become very comfortable speaking to students in my classrooms, and other groups - small and large, which I've done. My confidence level really soared.
How do you prepare to speak?
Know the scope of your topic. I compartmentalize my topic or I'll wind up swiping at too big a chunk of info - and not know enough of the vital particulars. I study my topic, outline progression through it. I then try to come up with a few comments for the beginning that puts my "audience at ease and teases them into interest. I try to do this in the form of a question to prod audience participation and give people a stake in the conversation.
Do you speak from notes or read from written text?
I have to speak without cards, but I have a summary of the outline in case I get brain freeze. I also have a few titles and authors who have written on my subject and interesting aside info surrounding my topic.
How do you overcome "stage fright?"
My class did this for me. I feel warmly toward my audience, like I'm there sharing something that will help them. I pretend they are glad I'm telling them the info, and I'm performing a helpful function for them. So, I smile, feel warmth and camaraderie. I think this translates.
How do you relate to your audience?
See above. But, if I were speaking to disgruntled teachers about new changes, I don't avoid the elephant in the room. I start out by associating with them - "I know how you feel...I feel that way too - but there is a solution..." not those words...but that message delivered with humor or directness or asking someone in the audience... "How did you feel when you got that last memo?" ...or, "If every single teacher screams at one time, but no one hears the collective scream because they are all screaming, does it make a sound?" Let's see..."
How do you prepare to answer questions?
Knowing your subject...I think it's very important to say when you don't know an answer. This is where scope of your topic is so important. If it is past your area, this is a nice reason to have the afore-mentioned titles and authors of additional work related to your topic.
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 02:25 pm
@Lash,
Also like visual aids...mostly PowerPoint presentations.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 04:06 pm
@jespah,
jespah wrote:

What are your experiences while you are speaking publicly?
I love public speaking. It's almost always a good experience for me.

How do you prepare to speak?
I try to think of what I'll say -- it depends on the context.
When I used to teach, I had extensive written notes.
When I've toasted my mother at a large family gathering
for her birthday, I've winged it.
[Shoud that be: "I wung it" ?]

Do you speak from notes or read from written text?
Rarely either, unless it's something with details that I have to know really, really well. Then, just notes.

How do you overcome "stage fright?"
I don't get it. I do get excited at the beginning -- first few words or sentences are often rushed, then I settle into the flow.

How do you relate to your audience?
Humor, almost always.

How do you prepare to answer questions?
I try to allow for what people would normally ask. When I taught paralegals, I knew the material so I'd anticipate questions about anything I couldn't cover in the lecture. When I taught Excel classes, I'd also wait for something I couldn't cover in the main time allotment. If I didn't know the answer, I'd say I'd research it, then I'd get back to people in email or when we'd next meet.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 04:06 pm
@sozobe,
I'm so glad you responded, Sozobe. What do you do that is the same or different, if any, from what hearing people do to be successful public speakers?

BBB

sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 04:34 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Um, probably the same. Since I've done both (spoken, with voice, in front of hearing people and signed in front of deaf people).

Pretty much exact parallels re: being clear but not pretentious (you need to get into a "public speaking" voice which is slightly different from "talking with friends" voice, but you don't want to go over the edge into a "preachy know-it all" voice) , keeping up a good pace, avoiding monotone [or flat, affectless signing], and of course content.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 05:27 pm
@snood,
How do you overcome "stage fright?"

"It's funny to me that the number one fear most adults name is the fear of public speaking, and yet no one here at A2K seems to even know the meaning of the 'f' word. Well, I unfortunately am an exception to the stalwart orators here. I've gotten stage fright, and flop sweats, and borderline panic on occasion, and my years of experience haven't served to completely eliminate those occasions. I have learned some things that help me cope and at least appear calm, but the biggest thing is to have mastery of the material."

What methods did you use to overcome your stage fright?

BBB
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 07:44 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:

How do you overcome "stage fright?"

"It's funny to me that the number one fear most adults name is the fear of public speaking, and yet no one here at A2K seems to even know the meaning of the 'f' word. Well, I unfortunately am an exception to the stalwart orators here. I've gotten stage fright, and flop sweats, and borderline panic on occasion, and my years of experience haven't served to completely eliminate those occasions. I have learned some things that help me cope and at least appear calm, but the biggest thing is to have mastery of the material."

What methods did you use to overcome your stage fright?

BBB


One is to closely monitor my 'self-talk'. I try to remember, and repeat to myself, that while I am up there, I am the subject matter expert - I am in charge. I convince myself there is no one better qualified to be there. I confess I use the old "imagine your audience sitting there naked" trick sometimes - that has helped a couple of times. Also, I have a natural baritone voice, and I project it to the back of the room ( somehow speaking loud and clear calms my nerves).
0 Replies
 
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 09:24 pm
I have never had a problem with stage fright, either an as actor or in meetings. Snood mentioned Toastmaster's which I would certainly recommend if you need help. I participated in that briefly locally gently offering suggestions.
Powerpoint drives me crazy. If you want to lose an audience, you can do it relying on Powerpoint.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2010 05:29 am
David - I was definitely considering saying wung but it felt wrong.

snood! I bet you sound awesome. I end up sounding like a cricket if I don't watch it. Do you sing?
0 Replies
 
 

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