Need Help With Public Speaking

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Question:

I have stage fright.  How can I gain confidence with public speaking?
  
My Reply:
Honestly, when building confidence for public speaking, practice helps.  Here are some suggestions that have helped me and others:
  1. Practice among friends
  2. If you can stand in the place where you'll be presenting, then practice your speech there...it'll help in that by the time you're actually speaking, for you'll be in a familiar surrounding.
  3. When speaking, don't look directly at anybody...try looking over their heads, like at the back of the room.
  4. If you begin to mess up, look for people in the front row with smiles and consider them an encouragement.
  5. Recently, I heard of a program in schools where a local animal shelter brings a dog into the school for kids to read to. It turns out that by reading to a dog, kids gain confidence when reading out loud, for a dog never corrects their pronunciation or anything…just enjoys your company and being read to.  So if you own a dog, try presenting to it to help you feel more comfortable.
  6. Know your material
  7. Before giving the speech, visualize yourself actually giving it.

---Pastor Andy
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