Posted by: emilygilmour | May 10, 2015

Public speaking: It isn’t so bad after all…

Did you know that 56% of the UK’s population are afraid of public speaking?

At some point in life, most people have to speak in public, whether it be for an interview, in the workplace, or even a speech at a wedding. Yet studies have shown that public speaking is one of the biggest fears for the UK population. So what can we do about this? Well, I suppose the best thing to do is practice. I overcame my fear at a national competition for a society that I am part of, Enactus Newcastle.

Enactus is “a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world.” Its aim is to see an opportunity, take action, and enable progress in order to help and enrich the lives of others.  Part of Enactus is to showcase each team’s projects by competing in both a regional and if the team gets through, a national competition.

Although I was nervous at first, saying ‘yes’ was the best decision I could make, as it brought me out of my comfort zone, and allowed me to practice my skills. For anyone that is given the opportunity oractice their experience in presenting, I would say give it a go.

If you’re apprehensive, here are a few tips for battling those presenting nerves:

  1. Prepare: The more you prepare and the better handle you have on the material you are presenting, the better it will go.
  2. Practice: Once you have prepared, you MUST practice, early and often.
  3. Check out the Room: Familiarity breeds comfort. Surprises the day of a presentation are not fun and ratchet up anxiety tenfold.
  4. Use Notes: Memorization + anxiety = poor performance. An index card with key bullet points, just to keep you on track, will help free your mind to stay in the moment, rather than allowing the pressure to remember to add to the anxiety you are already feeling on presentation day.

So give it a go, at the end of the day, what have you got to lose!

Head to the Careers Service for more advice, they are always happy to help!


  1. Good advice Emily – and good for you for pushing yourself outside your comfort zone! Great experience to add to your CV too.

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