To my disappointment, speaking in front of a small crowd of around 50 this morning still produces jitters. If you’re like me and always in need of good communication advice check out the following:

  • Advice for the first time speaker - Keith Robinson provides some nice pointers for speakers to follow at various stages leading up to your presentation

  • Toastmasters – Toastmasters is a society dedicated to helping people overcome their public speaking fears and improve communication skills.

  • Toastmasters Tips – Ten tips for successful public speaking.

  • Public Speaking Articles – A nice sized collection of free public speaking articles.

  • Steve Pavlina – “One of the best pieces of advice for improving at public speaking is to videotape yourself and then watch the video, looking for ways you can improve. This technique is commonly used by the best speakers in the world.” On a side note, this site is fantastic for all aspects of personal development.

  • 6 Don’ts for the End of Your Presentation - Great advice to help you end strong.

If you’ve got some more tips besides picturing your audience naked (since that doesn’t seem to do the trick for me), please do share.

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Chris Campbell

Public Speaking Jitters by Chris Campbell

This entry was posted 5 years ago and was filed under Notebooks.
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  1. Daniel Read · 5 years ago

    I can second the recommendation for Toastmasters. I’ve been a member for a couple years now (Peachtree Toastmasters in Atlanta, GA, USA), and it has helped me tremendously.

    The cool thing about Toastmasters for me is that there is no hidden agenda there—no one is trying to sell you anything or convince you of anything. The whole weekly meeting structure is simply a contrivance to create as many speaking opportunities in a single club meeting as possible. And every time you speak you get immediate feedback from other members of the club.


  2. Adrian Trenholm · 5 years ago

    Ditto for Toastmasters.

    The advice about picturing the audience naked is a load of nonsense. What works for me is to keep an eye out for a person in the audience who is smiling or nodding in agreement.

    So you focus on him or her for a few moments. That gives you enormous confidence in yourself and your message. Then you move your gaze around the audience, making eye contact with one person at a time. You will probably find half a dozen people smiling or nodding.

    If you feel your confidence start to wane, look again at each of your “friendly faces” until you feel confident again.

    Here’s a post I wrote on how to handle Q and A

  3. Chris Campbell · 5 years ago

    That’s a good idea about looking for “friendly faces”. It’s hard when the crowd is full of strangers, and looking at someone who is bored doesn’t help.

  4. Steven Harold · 5 years ago

    I have always found that mental rehearsal… imagining giving a speech and doing it calmly and looking like you are enjoying it, with smiling faces from the audience, helps tremendously. Too often people who are nervous about public speaking imagine the worst outcome. Here is a way of using the power of your imagination for you and not against you.