Conquering Your Fear of Public Speaking

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By: Parker Williamson

Missouri Western students attended a short workshop on Monday evening to help them conquer their fear of public speaking.

This event was organized by Madeleine Pasco, the coordinator for the Center for Student Involvement. The speakers included theirselves, Dr. Chris Bond and professor Tommy Brecheisen. All three speakers shared their tips for public speaker and dealing with speech anxiety.

Pasco has organized a series of workshops on campus focusing on developing leadership skills that people already have. She said that communication and public speaker are a big part of leadership.

“I firmly believe that being a leader is people skills, communication and figuring out how to do things really well,” Pasco said. “I think communication is one of the biggest things that can solve your problems because I find that a lot of problems come from miscommunicating.”

She reached out to Bond and Brecheisen because she knows that they are good at communicating and would have good insights on public speaking. Pasco presented the  happen when speakers are nervous and emphasized that the audience usually has no idea that the speaker is nervous.

“You overestimate the extent to which the audience can see your nervousness,” Bond said. “Don’t ever tell your audience that you are nervous. That tells the audience to automatically look for mistakes that they may not notice otherwise.”

The last speaker was professor Tommy Brecheisen. He spoke about how and how not to read the audience. He explained that it is easy to read blank faces as judgemental or negative but that this is not normally the case. He said that the best thing to do when the audience doesn’t seem to be understanding is to go off script. In order to do this the speaker must know the information they are presenting well enough to go off a little bit to help everyone understand.

Missouri Western student Matthew Ball said he learned a lot from the workshop.

“I definitely felt that the speakers had good things to say,” Ball said. “The biggest thing I learned was how to be more confident that I will be okay public speaking when the need arises.”   importance of knowing what you are talking about as a speaker. She introduced the audience to the idea of preparing for the specific audience they are speaking to. This means considering the vocabulary and types of examples used to get a point across.

Dr. Chris Bond spoke next. His presentation focused mainly on the fact that people are not born to fear public speaking, but it is a learned fear. He also talked about the physical things that