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Do You Suffer from Glossophobia?

March 21, 2013 - 3:30pm -- Lisa
Stage Fright


No, you don't go to the school nurse if you have it. Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking, and if you're like lots of people and get sweaty palms and a shaky voice even thinking about making a speech, we have some tips and advice for you!

  • If time allows, talk to a few members of the audience beforehand so you'll have some friendly faces to focus on
  • Begin by telling a story or anecdote, not by thanking them. Have it memorized so that you can make eye contact with your group. Don't tell a joke unless you're really good at it.
  • Don't apologize or mention being nervous.
  • Keep it simple; people don't remember much when they hear a speech. 
  • Don't lower the lights for slideshows; you want people to be able to see you.
  • Know the goal of your speech.
  • Practice your transitions to move from one point to the next.
  • Use Powerpoint to elicit an emotional response from your audience; not as an outline for your speech.
  • Stand up straight and pretend you're having fun
  • Tell stories to get your point across - you don't have to memorize anything and it sounds spontaneous.
  • Practice out loud in the shower or in front of a small audience. Replace "um" and "uh" with silence.
  • Leave them wanting more.

Check out some of the resources that the library has for you:

For Teens

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds (2007)

The Art of Speeches and Presentations: The Secrets of Making People Remember What You Say by Philip Collins (2012, eBook)

Better Powerpoint: Quick Fixes Based on How Your Audience Thinks by Stephen M. Kosslyn (2011)

For kids

Speaking Up, Speaking Out: A Kid's Guide to Making Speeches, Oral Reports, and Conversation by Steven Otfinoski (1996)

Making the Speech by Amanda Gray-Swain (2005, DVD)


Saber Hablar by Antonio Briz Gómez (2008)


Public Speaking: 25 Tips to Calm Your Nerves

10 Public Speaking Tips for Teens

Kids' Turn Central Online Resources for Public Speaking

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