Fear into Adrenaline


I was scheduled to give a brief report for the annual general meeting of the association, but I chickened out. I just hate speaking in front of groups, like many people. It takes practice to appear effortless and natural. I had planned to join Toastmasters, but clearly it was not high priority.

I know that speaking in front of peers is easier as you are a known quantity. Other tricks is practice, practice till parts are memorized. And yet other tricks are to pare down presentation to 3 points so as not to overwhelm audience. And maybe I am not as bad as I think I am.

Mary Ellen Bates reminds us that fear can get channelled into creativity like “thinking on your feet” and ultimately successful presentations. We can use our anxiety in a positive way:

Or you can use that energy and review your presentation from a creative and kind point of view. “Hmmm, I completely forgot to make that point. How can I change that slide to remind myself next time? Or, hey, it wasn’t that critical to the presentation; maybe I’ll change it to this other point.”

Read her blog post on the first step to becoming a great speaker. There are a ton of books and web sites about polishing public speaking skills. Who knows? Maybe I will work my way up to “Speak for a living : the insider’s guide to building a speaking career” by Anne Bruce (2008) … or not.

– Brenda


3 Responses to “Fear into Adrenaline”

  1. 1 Karen

    Thanks for sharing Brenda – next time you can do it! The thing I try to remember is to speak slowly – people don’t know what the next word out of your mouth will be, and their brains need time to process the sounds! I’m no fan of presenting either, but I recognize it’s a necessary evil. A coo-presenter is also a great help, as it takes the focus off of just you.

    Good luck for next time!

  2. 2 Sandy King

    Good evening! Greetings from the Nation’s Capital.

    My name is Sandy King, a Library and Information Technician for the past 6 years.

    I am investigating the possibility of pursuing a career in the field of law, unsure if there are any such libraries based out of law firms in Ottawa.

    Any advice you can provide would be gratefully appreciated! Permanent positions in Ottawa, Ontario, are “few and far between.” However, while currently unemployed, I do try to remain optimistic.

    Many thanks.

    • 3 Karen

      There are lots of law firm libraries in the Ottawa region. Look into NCALL, National Capital Association of Law Libraries, for networking opportunities (unfortunately they don’t have a website or contact info). Check at the law library at the University of Ottawa – they should be able to suggest some firms to contact.

%d bloggers like this: