The Paper In Your Hand: An Easy Way to Fight Public Speaking Nerves

by Madhu

Note Paper, Image by Ilco

I remember first time when I participated in a school debate competition. I was nervous. My father advised me not to look at any body and just look ahead at a point above everyone's heads...

And I made the mistake of looking at the students sitting in the front row, and faltered.I was blank all of a sudden.

But then a voice whispered behind me, paper, paper. What paper? Oh Yes, paper in my hand. I glanced at it, took a deep breath and resumed speaking. But it was not at all,what I had prepared. I just went on and on. This time staring ahead. Needless to say that I lost that competition. But I was congratulated for not sticking to the rehearsed matter, and using my own words and phrases.

This taught me some very valuable lessons in public speaking:

1. Don't let any body or any thing distract you while speaking. For this you have to be very focused.

2. You must have a clear knowledge of the subject you are about to speak about.

3. Always jot down the points, and elaborate on them while speaking.

And above all, if you are feeling jittery, take a deep breath or two and tell yourself that, yes, you can do it. And trust me - you will be able to.

Now, after so many years, I can speak on a public platform while looking at audience in front of me; I do not need a distant point above their heads any more. I can communicate with them while speaking and still remain focused.

It is an art and you can master it.

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