Did you know that people rate the fear of public speaking as higher than that of death on surveys, according to Psychology Today?
It's something that you can get much better at if you put the effort into preparing and practicing.
The first time I spoke at my own guild was probably more than fifteen years ago. I remember the anxiety I felt leading up to the event. There were over 75 people there and I did my presentation without seeing the faces of anyone in the audience. I struggled with speaking way too fast. Fortunately I had a friend there helping with the visuals so that was one less thing to worry about.
After having done many presentations in the ensuing years I've finally gotten to the point where I feel very comfortable speaking and I'm no longer thrown when things go wrong. Which is good because they do! Often it's technical challenges. Every once in a while it will be a member of the audience who is challenging.
One of the things that really helped me was understanding, stress is good, it's your body getting ready to meet a challenge. I want to do a really good job. I want the audience to walk out the door saying "hey that was great!" So of course I feel pressure. If I didn't it would be because I didn't care if I did a good job.
Here's some of the things I did to get better at public speaking.
I practice every talk many times. I stand up and do it out loud making sure I don't talk too fast. Now I usually speak too quickly for a moment at the very beginning but I catch myself and slow down.
I studied up on how to do a good power point presentation. I read several books but this one is the winner in my experience: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by