5 Reasons to Avoid Public Speaking

I think I’ve mentioned before that I work nonprofit foundation where I get to help give away money to other nonprofit organizations. It’s a great job where I can usually avoid selling my soul, but it is still a job with plenty of bureaucracy and headaches (figuring out compliance issues with the IRS is tons of fun, let me tell you).

Anyway, once a year there’s a big conference where people with my job from all over the country get together to complain and figure out different ways to make our job easier. So today, I got an email from someone organizing next year’s conference asking if I would consider being a panelist. The conference is fairly large, about 500 people, and the session I would be apart of would probably be around 75-100 people. Oh, and they need to know my answer in a week.

My first thought was, Cool, resume builder!

My second thought wasn’t really a thought, it was just sheer terror.

Some of my fears of public speaking include:

Overhearing someone talk about how horrible I was.

I will get so nervous that I will freeze up.

Someone will inexplicably have an egg on them and throw it at me.

I’ll accidentally swear when I have some technical difficulty or something.

I’ll hear myself on the speakers and remember that I hate the sound of my voice projected and get really self-conscious.

As for the pros of public speaking, there is the whole resume building thing. There’s the off-chance that people might love me and proclaim my session the best thing since bottled beer. I can’t say money since I wouldn’t get paid.

So, what do you think? Should I do it?

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7 Responses to 5 Reasons to Avoid Public Speaking

  1. Though it’s about being on a panel as an author, this is a good article about what not to do : http://msagara.livejournal.com/66264.html And you’ll score big points with people in the audience for some humor, so you’re already all over that. *g* If you can, get the gist of what other panelists are going to cover and work in ways in which you talk about THEM and compliment them/their organization, new initiative, etc. The other panelists will save their eggs for someone else, the audience will take what you say about your topic more seriously and it is always easier to talk about other people than ourselves, so those parts are a relief, actually. At least for me. Bon chance!


  2. lifewith4cats says:

    do your presentation with a cartoon slide slow. It will be a win win situation. 😉


  3. Give the presentation! Get up there in that green dress you are always wearing and give ’em hell. What’s that famous quote? “Do something that scares you everyday” or something like that. I’ve not had to do much public speaking but have had the occasional opportunity in front of 50-75 people. It scares the shit out of you but once you’re done you feel so great about yourself. Know your stuff too and be very prepared and it makes it a lot easier.


  4. SimonB says:

    Definitely – with your own pictures to avoid death by power point.


  5. lilthechic says:

    Blog about the presentation after you do it. I will love to know how it turns out!


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