As phobias go, Glossophobia is one of the most common. Do not know that word? Well, you probably have that phobia anyway because many people do. It means fear of public speaking and we cannot recall ever running across someone who loves giving a speech.
Do you have a speech coming up and are you dreading it? Here are some things you can do in preparation:
Do your research
Unless it is a topic that you know inside and out, it is important to do as much research as you need in preparation for the speech. Not only do you need to present a persuasive case for your speech, but you need to know enough about the topic in order to possibly answer questions as well.
Overcome your fear of public speaking
This is something that will quite likely take some time and it is possible that you may never fully be comfortable giving a speech. However, there are many people with this hang-up who are able to function fine nonetheless.
Think seriously about what it is that makes you uncomfortable. If you feel constantly in the grip of anxiety, consider seeing a therapist. If you are worried about rejection, try to remember that you are an adult and that you will be speaking to adults, so even if your speech is not received as well as you would wish, it is unlikely that this will be obvious. You can also join a group like Toastmasters, which specializes in making people better public speakers.
Focus on your material, not the audience
Depending on the environment, you may not even be able to see the people you are speaking to. If you can, be sure to occasionally make eye contact. However, beyond that, the attention should be focused on your speech and delivering the material. Do not worry about what anyone else is doing unless it is somehow disrupting your ability to talk.