Public speaking courage: Run the race in your mind.

When I was to do my final year project presentation, I knew it was going to be easy thing, having to defend a project in a room full of lecturers, doctors and professors, those who already knew what the research should be.

Every thursday, all final year students were required to be in the department when master students give their presentations, I had seen the way those lecturers with their spectacle scrutinize the presentation like a predator waiting for its prey to make a mistake and pounce on it.

I was a science student. I had carried out a research on pre- and post-emergence herbicide on okra plant.

I and my friend would sit down with our laptop, spend hours adjusting our data, working with analytical tools, designing the slide, see an error, worry and start again.

Then one day I and my friend decide enough is enough. Then we said "I will go in and talk, the professors or whoever will talk too, and I will talk again and take my leave".

And with that I ended my struggles. Went for the presentations, awaited my turn, waited for my slide to be projected, and I talked, the lecturers also talked, asked questions, criticized, commended and then I talked some more and strolled away...*grins*

Isn't the battle in the mind? I've seen people fidgeted or tongue tied, not because they don't know what to say, but because of fear.

I had gone ahead to give financial account presentations, represented a group in business school, and delivered lecture in seminar. Then some wondered if it's very easy for me.

But it's not because I'm very bold, in fact most times before standing up I usually have the usual talking fever, but what I do is to first run the race in my head. After all, it's just a talk, my audience will talk and I will talk. Nobody will swallow me.

Photo credit: effectivecommunication.com

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