Do you get nervous when you speak?

Do you get nervous when you speak? - A picture of a microphone. Taken with permission from http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1173/539686762_a6d2a2de30.jpg?v=0 .
Singapore
July 18, 2007 10:59am CST
Public speaking is one of the most fearsome fears for human beings. If animals, plants, fishes, birds and bugs can speak, perhaps they might get nervous like us too. :P So, do you get nervous when you have to speak in front of crowds? It could be a business presentation at work. It could be a sharing session at a self-help group. It could even be something as "simple" as talking with the bank teller. If you do get nervous, do you know how to control your nervousness? Any success so far? If you do not get nervous, can you share how you fight these "butterflies in your stomach"? Any tips to share? I have just put together an article on my blog titled "Enjoyable way to get rid of nervousness". There, I described a very effective shortcut method of getting rid of nervousness when you speak. It involves... taking off people's clothes! LOL, I am serious alright!! Whether you need help with dealing with nervousness or not, I would still self-publicize and suggest you take a look lol. It's fresh out of the oven, written just minutes back. Please check out http://tinyurl.com/23m4gb . And don't forget the questions of this discussion! Do you get nervous when you speak? How do you fight nervousness? Any experience to share? Let's have your thoughts! :-)
31 people like this
112 responses
@weemam (13377)
18 Jul 07
I would think most people get nervous when having to speak in public , I am a memeber on the board of my local Church and my son Ross is an Elder of the same said Church , WE both had to do a reading a while ago , I was so worried I would pronounce some of the names wrong as there ave very hard to say name in the bible , Ross on the other hand stood up there quite confident ( I was so surprised at this as he has Cerebral palsey and when nervous his speach is much worse ) we are all friends there and all know each other well , this was alright and worked for Ross but I was visiting the toilet all morning lol xxx
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
WOW! currant baby is a church elder! I am impressed!! :P
4 people like this
@patgalca (16568)
• Orangeville, Ontario
18 Jul 07
I read at church as well. However, we are given work books of our readings with bold print where words are to be emphasized. I take an hour and a half before Mass to practice my reading until I get it exactly the way I think it should sound. They also have pronunciation notes in the margin.
3 people like this
@weemam (13377)
18 Jul 07
nice to see you impresed wizzy lol , and thanks pat thet would be a great help to us too xx
3 people like this
@charms88 (7540)
• Philippines
18 Jul 07
Baby, you know I'm a very shy bunny. I prefer to stay behind the curtain rather than stand facing a crowd. But I don't know if what you're suggesting will work on me or not. I may be a good visualizer but not about stripping, LOL. I remember I was personally handpicked by my teacher to join the speaking contest during my elementary days. I hated it and told my teacher repeatedly that I didn't want to join. She told me I have good English diction. I kept practicing on my speech for days and nights. Guess what happened on the rehearsal day, I got tongue tied. Nary a word came out of my mouth and my whole body was shaking. My teacher was so mad at me that she replaced me with her second choice. I felt a huge relief afterward. I will give this stripping a try though. I'm already working on it now that I'm chatting with someone online. I wonder what he looks like with his undies. "nasty grin" :)
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
You just have to try, I would think that method has a high success rate.:P And you just need more PRACTICE.:-)
3 people like this
@charms88 (7540)
• Philippines
18 Jul 07
Yep...I need to practice visualizing how to undress you, lol!
4 people like this
• Singapore
19 Jul 07
You wish.:P
1 person likes this
@twilight021 (2060)
• United States
18 Jul 07
I am not a fan of public speaking. I get very nervous, which sometimes leads to my voice shaking (very embarassing) mad I think I might ven go a little red in the face. That said, I realize that public speaking is a pretty important skill and that it's something I have to work on, especially for my job. Persentation skill and being able to effectively communicate is pretty important. I will often force myself to make accouncement or small presentatations at staff meetings. There are about 50-60 people in attendance at those meeting so I figure that's a pretty good start. To deal with my nervousness I just try to be prepared with what I want to say and to take a deep breath before I start.
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
I think it's all about practice. I believe you will do just fine if you put in more practice.:P
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Jul 07
I used to be terrified to speak in public. I never had a problem talking in a group or one-on-one with anyone. The only time I got nervous was when I'd have to stand up in front of a class and give a speech. Last semester, I took a public speaking class for college and I've learned to cope with it. It's not such a big deal to me anymore, especially since when you do it in college your talking to smart people, not obnoxious high-schoolers that are very judgemental. Not only did I learn to look past any judgements in the class I took on it, but learned how to give a well thought out speech and how to do it in a professional-looking way. I learned that you need to scan the room before you start your speech (to ensure everyone is ready and listening)and to scan the room when you're finished (to see everyone's reaction to the speech). Also we learned that we can't sway back and forth, that you need to use hand gestures, that you need to command the room with your voice and not be monotoned, and to walk a few strides between each new topic. We also learned about "attention getters" and how you need an ethos, a statement of signifcance, and a thesis statement for an effective introduction.
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
Yup yup, some neat stuffs you mentioned.:)
3 people like this
• United States
18 Jul 07
I get very nervous when I am speaking or singing in front of a large crowd...But on a one on one type situation I am as calm as a cucumber....Wether I am singing on talking I try to pick a foctual point on the walls and that helps sometimes...or I will stand with my hand clapsed together....
4 people like this
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
Then you have to find out why...
3 people like this
• United States
18 Jul 07
Public speaking has not been and still is not one of my strong points. I am generally plagued with nightmares the night before I am to give a speech of any sort and just thinking of the words "Public Speaking" make my palms get all sweaty and my heart pounding hard enough to where it seems at any moment it is going to leap out of my chest. I don't do speeches in front of large crowds often enough to find a method to get rid of those things that pester me so during such episodes, but I just sum up all the courage I can to get through what I must face or feel a bit foolish for letting such a thing get to me so bad. The only time I was nervous talking to a bank teller was the very first time I ever set up a bank account. Other such simple things or speaking to a group of two or three people don't get me nervous either, it's just like talking to friends in those cases, but get any larger than that, and I become a mess.
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
Thanks for sharing. I think a lot has to do with practice and exposure. The more chances you get to practise public speaking, the more practice you will get and the more your public speaking skills will improve. :-)
4 people like this
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
18 Jul 07
Hi, This is a problem I have had my whole life. I used to fake sick on certain days I knew that I would have to speak in public. I ended up letting a lot of people down. The nerves were so bad they made me physically sick. Now I am in a job where I have to speak in front of people all the time. It is strange how these things happen. The way I have coped is through old fashioned practice. The more I do it the less nervous I get. On weeks where I have a lot of public speaking to do, I barely even notice it anymore. The advice I would give to someone who wanted to beat this fear...is to face it! cheers,
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
Geez, that bad? :P And you are right about the practice bit.;)
5 people like this
@whyaskq (7529)
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
Interesting tips you have out there. Too bad I have no chance to try it out. I work alone in a big enclosure. I do not have to speak to anyone unnecessarily or give presentations. I just need to answer questions, mostly via emails or machines. I do not deal much with humans. So in a way, there is no nervousness when I speak. Out of office, I am a mute. Over at mylot, it is writing, so to speak... and I choose not to speak if I do not want to. How can I get nervous to come to me?
4 people like this
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
Geez, what a shame. Try speaking to strangers at Orchard Road then..
4 people like this
@misheleen73 (6037)
• United States
18 Jul 07
Leave it to Wizzy to start a disussion about people taking their clothes off !!! ;P No, I do not get nervous. I was in a program in school called Toastmasters. They taught the art of public speaking, and it was very useful. i was also in the debate club (shocking I know) and even involved in mock trials. I have never had trouble speaking in front of crowds. I don't have any particular "tricks" other than knowing what I am talking about and being prepared to field any questions people may have. :)
3 people like this
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
Geez, you must be one of the most outspoken monkeys around! Lol:P
2 people like this
• United States
18 Jul 07
maybe I am.. only I know for sure.. :)
2 people like this
• Singapore
19 Jul 07
Don't you attend the annual council held at monkey hill?
2 people like this
@Leon35 (35)
• Philippines
19 Jul 07
Yes I also fear public speaking.. that was before. I was fortunate enough to get a lot of opportunities to practice public speaking which made me more comfortable with it. From experience incorporating jokes, if appropriate would get rid of most of the nervousness. Being prepared also helps. If it is a presentation, have a script written down, you should practice it with an audience, let them ask questions. Develop your FAQ's. Get feedback from audience. Make a lot of visual aids so you'll have something to focus on. If appropriate ask and let audiences discuss with you. Use activities or situational learning exercises. Once they enjoy the discussion your nervousness would dissappear.
@jennybianca (12912)
• Australia
19 Jul 07
I agree with being prepared.My 14 year old daughter is being taught to have little cards, with key words & phrases on, that she can refer to when speaking publicly.
2 people like this
• Singapore
19 Jul 07
Yup yup, good tips.:)
1 person likes this
@mummymo (23707)
18 Jul 07
For someone who chatters away incessantly in every day life wizzy it is quite ironic that in formal situations or speaking to large groups of people I do get very, very nervous! The nervousness shows itself in extremes - I get the butterflies we all get in my tummy, get hot, clammy, sweaty, I cannot see properly and iget very lightheaded - bet that surprises you about old mummymo huh? I have tried imagining the people with no clothes on but that one just makes me giggle uncontrollably as I imagine their wobbly bits bouncing around - I have even tried imagining them in their underwear (saves thinking of the wobbly bits!) but somehoe they are always wearing dingy grey underwear and I want to tell them to buy decent underwear! I have tried breathing exercises but then I tend to get hooked on the breathing and forget what I have to say, so I have to accept the fact that I just turn into a quivering wreck while speaking in public! I will take a look at your blog though wizzy , my lord, it may help! xxx
3 people like this
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
Lol, mummymo, you are so funny!:P
2 people like this
@mummymo (23707)
18 Jul 07
Why thank you kind sir! xxxx
2 people like this
@NeoComp (1320)
• United States
18 Jul 07
Yes I do get nervous sometimes. But If i know the subject well and what I am talking about, I won't get so nervous in that case. I really think that people need to learn how to speak in front of big crowds.
3 people like this
• Singapore
19 Jul 07
Yup, one big part of public speaking is preparation. :)
1 person likes this
@Marie2473 (8517)
• Sweden
18 Jul 07
Yes. I always get nervous and I hate doing presentations of any kind =) I do not mind talking alot in a gropu of people I feel comfortable with about general stuff, but presentation ifor a not known crowd almost makes me panic =)
3 people like this
• Singapore
19 Jul 07
So you need to practise not panicking.:P
1 person likes this
@rakhii (1302)
• India
18 Jul 07
Ya i get nervous when speaking in front of public. It takes time for me to get stable when I am on mic. I used to shiver in front of the public for a few seconds earlier. I am now bit comfortable with that, but not fully. Still I feel bit nervous with that. I think this is the problem with most of the people. Can anyone suggest a solution to that?
3 people like this
• Singapore
19 Jul 07
Why don't you check out the link to my blog I gave in my discussion? I already suggested a quick solution there.
1 person likes this
@jillmalitz (5131)
• United States
18 Jul 07
Nerves are a part of any kind of public speaking. It doesnt matter if it is in school or business. I loved acting and did some community theater years ago. Butterflies are common. Even the most competent actor or speaker has them. When I was acting I learned to become my character. That way I really felt that what ever happened it was to the character. In public speaking it is good to pick out a friendly looking face up close and then to also look over the crowd to the back. This seems to help. Also relaxation expecises help. If all else fails, so what make a joke of it!
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
These butterflies are actually good if you can control your nervousness - they provide the adrenaline rush. :-)
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Jul 07
I used to be really bad when I was in school...I hated doing the dreaded oral reports. I always managed fine but I really hated them. Once I got out of school and on my way in my career, I conquered the nervousness when I became an instructor. Knowing I had a lot of good information that I not only wanted to share, but I wanted them to learn it just as well as I did made it a lot easier to teach. When you are teaching something you know and love you are not as nervous. I am happy to see that a lot of the ones that I taught are still working and using the knowledge that I showed them. I am frequently asked to be a guest instructor just to provide different viewpoints and ideas. I find that if I know something really well I can speak, instruct, or debate without any fear of being nervous. I have also found that very often people will change their outlook if you have confidence and sincerity when presenting yours and well and making sure you can back your points with both facts and logic. Intelligent people make intelligent decisions when given enough factual information, and that doesn't necessarily mean that their decision will be the same as yours, but it will be the best decision for them. Giving any kind of presentation, if you have the facts to support your reasoning and can answer any question that comes up rationally and logically, then you have no reason to feel nervous.
• Singapore
18 Jul 07
And so, the challenge is actually in presenting topics you are NOT familiar with. :-)
4 people like this
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
18 Jul 07
Hey wizard, I do get very nervous when speaking in crowds but once I start the presentation or whatever I relax and am ok. I am not even sure what happens I just start to enjoy myself until it is all said and done. Then I get off the stage or wherever and start to shake! LOL. Will take a look at the article and let you know what I think. Hehehe :)
2 people like this
• Singapore
19 Jul 07
Then you just need the momentum.
2 people like this
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
19 Jul 07
Ya pretty much! LOL I am like that with a lot of things! :P
2 people like this
@patgalca (16568)
• Orangeville, Ontario
18 Jul 07
I am a Lector at my church. I read at least once a month. I love doing it but after 6 or so years I still get a little bit nervous. I keep thinking that the altar servers beside me, or the priest and deacon behind me can see my skirt or pants shaking. When it is a big crowd, like Christmas Eve, I find myself really nervous and I talk to myself and take deep breaths. Why am I nervous? You've done this a million times before. Nothing to be nervous about. The kicker is that I really love doing it and would read every week if given the chance. When someone calls and asks me to cover for them I don't hesitate. I am a member of a committee with the church and I was very nervous speaking up in front of this small group, but when I got positive feedback I felt better. When you mention the bank teller my thought is this may be more of a confrontation rather than speaking to people. I am terrible at confrontations, arguing a point like a mistake that the bank made or an unfair charge. It's easier to do on the phone than in person, but that is hard too because it takes forever to get a human being on the line. I try and take on my father's demeanor. He was always joking and friendly with people he encountered whether in line at the bank or at the grocery store. I try and make small chit chat with grocery clerks, make jokes about my own stupidity when I'm fumbling around. I usually get some young girl with no sense of humour. Wouldn't they rather have someone with a good demeanor than some grumpy person complaining about everything? Off topic, I know. Overall, I do get nervous speaking in public but I won't let it stop me. I will do the best I can. There might be an occasion when I will decline, like if it is something coming from my own head rather than reading something someone else wrote, or reading from my own notes. I want to be a published author. I know that if and when that happens I will have to speak in front of people, so I must try and get through it. I don't get so nervous that I might throw up. I just get shaky and a little weak. Deep breaths and talking myself down help me.
2 people like this
• Singapore
19 Jul 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
Good that you have something you love doing. :) And keep trying. You are right about how humor disarm people and make them more disposable towards you.
1 person likes this
@patgalca (16568)
• Orangeville, Ontario
19 Nov 07
Thanks, and thank you for the best response mark.
@Buchi_bulla (8299)
• India
9 Aug 07
I was getting nervous before. But I started participating in extempore speeches and discussions. Slowly I overcome that fear. Now i think I am free of stage fear.
2 people like this
• Singapore
9 Aug 07
Cool, congrats.=)
1 person likes this
@andrejuly84 (1047)
• Romania
9 Aug 07
of course i am getting nervous if i have to speak in public.that's why i didn't do it too much,more than was necesarely.i can't control my butterflies,maybe i am complexed thinking i'm not good enough,and the others are stronger than me and i am just a nobody talking to them which are just waiting for me to make a mistake.so i fight by refusing talking in public
2 people like this
• Singapore
9 Aug 07
You need more confidence in yourself. Practice will help a lot.
1 person likes this