Real Talk: I don’t like public speaking.

I just don’t. It doesn’t make me nervous or afraid or anything. But public speaking is definitely not something I enjoy.

(I’ve got an obligation to do it tonight, and I’m already thinking about it, at 9:23 a.m. Can you tell?)

When I write, I feel like I have time to choose my words perfectly, to build them perfectly, and that people will take time to read them and digest them.

And I love to sing. I love to tell a story in a song. Basically, anywhere, anytime, and to any crowd. Here’s me, at my wedding, being both the bride and the entertainment.

One of my favorite memories, honestly.

But when I’m up speaking in front of people, even if I’ve written my statement and practiced it and I’m confident that it’s good and right, I’ll second guess myself. I’ll worry about my tone, my delivery, and my body language, and that the words I’ve chosen aren’t actually all that good or right, and that I’m not getting my message across, and that I’ve lost the audience halfway through.

What I’m saying, I think, is that public speaking is just not one of my core strengths.

But I want it to be!

So I’d love to hear any advice or suggestions from you. 😊 How do you approach making public statements? How do you pump yourself up and keep from second guessing yourself? And, for those of you who enjoy public speaking, do you have any advice for how I could shift my perspective?

10 thoughts on “Real Talk: I don’t like public speaking.

  1. Ok. So we could have a seminar on this subject. I do a lot of public speaking, ranging from interviews in front of a hand-full of committee members (it’s how we get projects) to presentations at church in front of a couple hundred people.

    One thing I do for almost any presentation is rehearse. Out loud. It’s one thing to hear the words in your head and another to hear them out loud. Especially hone in on the beginning and end.

    People will tend to drift away in the middle and that’s ok. Maybe something you say causes them to think about it in more detail.

    Think of your presentation in terms of a conversation. You’re just telling them what you’re passionate about as if you were sitting at the coffee shop having a conversation. They want to hear what you have to say.

    And maybe that’s the key to turning a dreaded obligation into a fun opportunity. You’re just telling people about something that means a lot to you. That’s probably why you agreed to speak in the first place, right?

    You’ll do well. Because you care.

    By the way, what’s the topic?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the very good advice! And you’re right, I do care. 🙂 In this case, I care very deeply. I’ll be speaking to the Board of Supervisors at a public hearing regarding the sale of historic properties in the Village where I live to a developer. I’ve been involved in efforts to save them since 2017. It’s been a long road. My struggle tonight is that my time is limited to 2.5 minutes, and so I’ll probably forget to breathe trying to fit all of my points in. Good thing I’ve trained in opera – breathe support will be essential!

      Liked by 1 person

      • 2.5 minutes. That will keep you focused. Just get right to it. I work for an architectural firm and we sometimes get involved in historical projects. I’ve also been involved in zoning for historic districts. If you ever want to discuss such things in greater depth, email me at jbird@chaptech.com.
        Let me know how it goes tonight.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! And – well, it went. I’m not super happy with my delivery, but I am happy with the comment I made. 2.5 minutes isn’t much time, but I think I got my point across. At least I hope I did.

        At any rate, can confirm – I’m still not a fan of public speaking.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a hard one. To this day whenever I have to speak whether it’s work or any occasion I get the jitters but guess as long as your confident about your subject matter, you just have to put it out of your mind. In the past, I would also use my co-worker as a gauge of how I was speaking, if it was clear, and the cadence of my deliverance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I normally don’t get jitters, but I did last night. My poor husband had to listen to me practice over and over. He was very helpful, though. 🙂 I agree – it’s always nice to have someone to bounce things off of.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Found Friday #18: Bridal Brooch (…and a just for fun picture that will probably make you laugh…) | A Virginia Writer's Diary

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