Fears of Public Speaking

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by: Julianna Sewell, district VI vp of Campaigns

Public speaking is one of the largest, most well-known fears that has affected many generations of people. I know many people who have such an enormous fear of public speaking, that they have refused to be a part of different organizations, like DECA, because there is a slight chance that they would have to speak in front of others. Throughout my experience in DECA, I have witnessed numerous DECA members that choose not to compete because of public speaking. Even though most DECA member's extent of public speaking consists of presenting in front of a judge, it is a large jump that many members choose not to make. Luckily, there are many different ways to help cope with these fears. To begin, the most important thing to do is practice. It may sound really cliché, but practice makes perfect. For example, a great way to practice not in front of people is to practice in front of a mirror. The more you work on speaking out loud at a loud volume, the more comfortable you get with it. To continue, the more time used to present in front of other people can lower nervousness that arises from being in front of others. There are other methods of relaxation that can calm nerves, such as, meditation, power poses or listening to calming music. The best thing to do is figure out what works for you. Everyone is different and everyone's methods for improving their speaking skills is different.