I teach people to use library resources more effectively; however, the skills I’ll talk about below are useful when working with any adult audiences. This is not a comprehensive guide to teaching or public speaking, rather, it is a summary of some of the main ideas and practices that help me. I used to be so scared when I talked in front of other people — even a small group of people — that I would turn bright red and break out in a sweat. I couldn’t look people in the eye; I read from my notes; I stumbled over my words. I even walked out of an oral exam in graduate school because I was so nervous that my mind went totally blank! Today, however, I am capable of being a good speaker, trainer or teacher in group settings. I say “capable of,” because this still doesn’t come naturally to me. Rather, it is something I have learned how to do well — with the appropriate amount of preparation. I still envy those people who are perfectly comfortable “winging it” in front of an audience. I don’t always think they make the best teachers or trainers, but I would gladly replace my anxiety with their ease. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that if I learned how, anyone can.
Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies
McMillen, P. S.
Practice makes perfect (or, at least better!).
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