Stage Fright

rpynnby Roger Pynn

I have to give a talk next week to a national trade organization. There’ll be 300 or more people in the audience. I’m looking forward to it … and, yes, a bit nervous about whether I’ll do a good job for them. Anyone who does public speaking should have a bit of stage fright. If you aren’t nervous, you probably aren’t prepared.

At a luncheon today honoring young communication scholarship recipients, one of the winners talked about how despite taking a college-level public speaking class she is terrified before an audience. She was in luck, because she got some great advice from Boyd Lindsley, assistant director of the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida.

“Here’s the truth,” said Lindsley, “99 percent of the people in any audience (unless you’re in a political debate) want you to succeed … so have a conversation with them, talk to them the way you do here at the table, be yourself.”

I think I’ll take his advice.

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