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Fear of Public Speaking

Quote From WanderingSage:

Hi Jen,

besides the useful advice of practice before hand (and I cannot agree enough with this), there are a few other tips that I use. I learned these from a guy when I was with the local toastmasters group back in the USA.
1) Use note cards are reminders, and slip in a few extras that say things like 'Breath!' 'Smile!' or just draw a smiley face. It will remind you to do things that let you get your composure back and can easily forget when nerves are tights.
2) Keep a bottle/glass of water at the podium or where ever you are stationed for the majority of the speech. Take a small sip from time to time if you feel you are going too fast or have a dry mouth. Only a small one though or you will end up giving a presentation on how to quaff a drink in very little time. Again, it mostly breaks your nervous habits that nobody else is noticing.
3) Walk around while talking. Don't hide behind stationary objects or stand still. When you stand still, you do odd things with your hands and posture, and it sticks in the back of your mind. Walk around and the posture will be a non-factor. Added benefit: the audience thinks that as you walk around to in front of them, you are engaging with them in specific. If you have any friends that are into acting, ask them how to cheat a stance too, that will help you not turn your back on people while addressing only a small section of the audience. (It involves standing open shoulders to the group, but your voice - your face/mouth - is directed towards a particular point).

Odd 'fact': more people are afraid of public speaking than death... this means that people would rather be in the coffin than giving the Eulogy.
I don't know if it is true, but that was one extra tid-bit I got from my friend.

Good luck, relax and have fun. I still hate public speaking, but I have gotten used to it.

Thanks, I shall take all of this on board :) Maybe a card with 'breathe' on it would be appropriate for me!

I think I probably am more scared of public speaking then of death now you come to mention it... how stupid.

Fear of Public Speaking

Thanks Keep_Calm (love the name ;))

Doesn't help that I got asked for ID buying Christmas crackers the other day. Doesn't do much for one's confidence!

Fear of Public Speaking

Aw, thanks guys. It's all so very much appreciated, and very encouraging to hear of those who were like me once and have overcome their fear. I guess I also worry that although I am 27 (not that old anyway), I look a lot younger. I'm concerned they may be thinking 'why is she teaching us?!'

I guess the way forward is to quit worrying and just throw myself in at the deep end. Eeek.

The One Goal Thread

======= Date Modified 26 Nov 2010 10:49:37 =======
Oops wrong thread!

Fear of Public Speaking

Thanks :) I realise practise makes perfect, but it's just getting over those first few times!

I have a real issue with my voice which is what it stems down to, I think. I pronounce my Rs softly, have a funny accent and generally just dislike my voice a lot. I'm so conscious of it when I'm public speaking that I can't think of anything else.

I think I am probably expected to present at conferences further down the line too, which I am totally dreading.

Fear of Public Speaking

Arghh, this is driving me insane! I have always had a really bad fear of public speaking, even just doing 10 minute uni presentations were a nightmare - I get flustered, shaky, dry mouth, forget what I'm talking about and generally just balls it up. Anyway, my supervisor wants me to now take some undergrad seminars. I would truly love to do it (and get the money!) but I just can't imagine getting through it so at the moment I am shying away. I know how lucky I am because there's not a great deal of teaching going at the moment, and other PhD students are desperate to do some.

So, any hints or tips on how I can overcome this stupid fear? Or any on teaching in general?

Food question!

======= Date Modified 23 Nov 2010 12:58:47 =======
Not a noodle soup, but this is my current favourite. so easy and SO cheap to make!


As for noodles, how about trying a tom yum paste?

ESRC 1+3 guys

Hi all,

I'm currently in the MRes year of a 1+3 ESRC studentship, and my university has suddenly decided I owe them £800 as they are charging above the maximum rate the ESRC will pay for the MRes fees. For the whole application process and up until now I was led to believe the studentship would cover my fees. Has anyone else been in this situation?

I realise how lucky I am to have a studentship, but at the same time I really do not have £800 spare :(

Dealing with Test Anxiety

======= Date Modified 01 Nov 2010 09:47:42 =======
I feel your pain! Bach's isn't just for women, however it is only a step away from being a homeopathic remedy and therefore I am sceptical about how much it works. I did try it and it did nothing for me.. however others have said it works wonders.

I suffer with anxiety/panic attacks (it seems to be common amongst us PhDers... I wonder what that means?!) and the one single thing that has made a huge difference to me is cutting out caffeine. I had heard people say that you should do this, but always though 'oh how much harm can it do?'. My doctor then instructed me to cut it out for two weeks, so I did so, and it really does take away that constant 'on edge' feeling. It;s not completely cured me, but it has definitely made me generally more chilled and dare I say it, rational! The first few days are a killer though.

If you are actually suffering panic attacks as well, you could try beta blockers, although I'm cautious about relying on meds. I have been prescribed them but have only ever taken one - it did stop the physical symptoms of panic, but not the psychological ones. Just an option anyway - a lot of people choose not to take that route, but if it is for one off/infrequent situations and helps, then might be worth considering.

Other herbal options include St Johns Wort and Valerian.

Good luck :)

travel to paris?

Yea, you would be able to get a nightbus quite easily from St Pancras to Paddington. Don't risk getting a taxi - they tend to overcharge like crazy, especially if you seem like a tourist.

As for Paris, I suggest staying in the Latin Quarter... imo definitely the easiest/nicest area to stay in. Have a great time!

Travelling alone

Yes, definitely do it! I find that it can sometimes be a bit lonely staying in hotels on your own; therefore, unless you really like your own company, I would suggest looking for some kind of alternative accommodation where you have the chance to meet people etc. There are some wonderful 'grown up' hostels on the continent, you just have to look for them. Take lots of books and music and you will be fine. I went to France on my own for seven weeks and it was one of the best things I ever did. Barcelona is wonderful too.. so much to do - you definitely won't get bored. Enjoy!

Font for conference poster

I'm in shock that a supervisor suggested using Comic Sans!!

Today has not been a waste because....

Today is a waste for me because I am full of cold so have given myself the day off :(

A question to those on a 1+3

Thanks so much guys. I was hoping that this was the norm - I would much rather be able to knuckle down and really concentrate on the MRes, after all it is a full time course. Of course, I fully plan to focus on my PhD research throughout, but thought that trying to make a real start on it seemed a bit premature. I will discuss this further with my supervisor next week, but for now you have put my mind at rest a little! :-)


I am also starting a 1+3 ESRC studentship this week. Feel very overwhelmed by the whole thing at the moment, but hopefully that will subside once I get stuck into it. I'm also struggling for routine at the moment, but have been told it takes a few weeks or so to really get going.

Good luck all and I look forward to chattign with you over the next few years! *gulp*