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youth competes in public speaking challenge

Public Speaking – Don’t Be Afraid!

With County Events just around the corner, let’s take a minute to talk about public speaking. Many people may feel anxious or even afraid when considering speaking or presenting in public. In fact, fear of public speaking – also known as glossophobia – is one of the most common phobias. But public speaking doesn’t have to scare you – it can challenge you and help you grow!

Public speaking is a part of almost every career path. Communication is even listed as one of the top skills that employers are looking for when hiring new employees. So why not embrace the challenge of public speaking and set yourself up for success?

The best way to overcome your fear of public speaking? Practice, practice, practice! Seek out opportunities to stand in front of a crowd and soon you will realize it’s not so scary after all. For more tips on getting ready to speak in public, check out the list below…

  1. Talk about something you know – If you’re comfortable with what your topic, you will be less nervous sharing it.
  2. Practice in front of other people – If someone else watches you practice, it will help you be more comfortable at the time of the event. It will also help you work through any confusing parts of your presentation and prepare for questions that the judges may ask you.
  3. Act confident – Even if you’re not feeling confident, smile, stand up straight, make eye contact with the audience, and act like you are feeling great. No one else can tell you’re nervous if you act like you’re not.
  4. Slow down – If you feel yourself getting nervous or tongue-tied, it’s a good idea to stop talking and take a deep breath. A pause will help you regain your confidence.
  5. Work with a partner or team – If you’re able to work with a friend, you can share the presentation and take some of the pressure off yourself.

If all else fails, remind yourself this will only last a few minutes. Soon it will all be over and no matter what happened, you can be proud of yourself for doing something that many people shy away from!

 

Join us next Monday, March 5th at 6:30pm at the Callahan Extension Office to see our 4-H members show off their skills through public speaking, demonstrations, share-the-fun, and so much more!

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