Wednesday, March 5, 2014

IWSG: Signings and Panels and Public Speaking, Oh My


It's time for the March meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and I am excited to be co-hosting this month! My fellow co-hosts are Tina Downey, Elsie, and Elizabeth Seckman. I'm looking forward to visiting lots of fellow insecure writers today.

In the 1990s Jerry Seinfeld had a joke about a survey of fears which found that public speaking was number one on the list and death was number two. He concluded that if this survey was accurate most people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy at a funeral. I guess I wouldn't go that far, but I can't deny that few things bring me more anxiety than public speaking of any kind.

As I mentioned last week in my monthly goals update, I was thrilled to arrange two book signings last month, one in May and another in June, and to be accepted for the Ohioana Book Festival. And I really am thrilled, but I am also a nervous wreck about the presentation that goes along with the June signing and the panel that is part of the book festival.

To say I have a tendency to get tongue-tied when talking to strangers is an understatement. I simply hate speaking in front of people and it almost feels inevitable that I will trip over my words, forget what I was going to say, or somehow make a fool of myself in ways I haven't even thought of yet.

When putting together this post I learned that there is a name for this fear - glossophobia. Apparently "glosso" comes from the Greek word for tongue. Symptoms include:
  • intense anxiety prior to, or simply at the thought of having to verbally communicate with any group,
  • avoidance of events which focus the group's attention on individuals in attendance,
  • physical distress, nausea, or feelings of panic in such circumstances.
  • I would say that about covers it!

    But I'm doing my best to deal with this anxiety and not let it ruin the events for me, and I'm definitely not going to give in to the desire to engage in avoidance of these circumstances. I'm grateful for these opportunities and hope to have more in the future, so I know I need to get control of this fear. Please wish me luck!

    Now I'm off to make my co-hosting visits and catch up with the insecurities plaguing my fellow group members. Happy IWSG day, all! :)

    108 comments:

    1. I get a bit nervous before speaking to groups, but I'm fine once I'm doing it. I hope you find the same and it gets easier each time.

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    2. I've never been to a book festival, some day, or on a panel. Prepare some notes on your writing journey.I'm assuming you'll be discussing your books and writing? I find it's easier to speak if you have back-up. I can't give good advise since I've never been in that situation. But I can say Good Luck, you'll do fine!!

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    3. Thanks for co-hosting!
      I'm not much for public speaking either. I'm sure you will rock when the time comes though.

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    4. Good luck with your upcoming event! You'll do fine. Just keep things simple and pause between statements. My biggest problem is running everything together and finishing too soon.

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    5. I attended a six-week course given by the speakers bureau in my county. Just going to the class was terrifying but it ended up helping me immensely. I actually enjoy speaking in public now. I still get nervous but not nearly as bad as before.

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    6. I hear you! The good news is that you have some time to practice, especially the individual presentation. I would think being part of a panel would be easier because you won't be all alone up there and the conversation can bounce around a bit.

      You're going do great, Julie!

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    7. I actually really love talking to groups of any size, but I've done it quite a bit since I was young. I used to get extremely nervous and fumble through whatever I had to say. My experience is that doing it over and over is the only real cure.

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    8. It helps to practice, and to be as prepared as possible. Try to anticipate the questions and imagine yourself answering them with eloquence at the signing. The more you imagine yourself succeeding vs. failing, the better off you will be. Plus, it just gets easier the more you do it.

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    9. @Patsy, I hope so, thanks!

      @Cathy, yeah, that's a good point about the notes, I will definitely do that. Thank you.

      @Alex, it's fun to co-host, I really enjoy it. :)

      @Stephen, I do the same - talk too quickly and run everything together. I need to remember to pause!

      @Doreen, oh, I bet that class was helpful! I think I will look for something like that in my area.

      @Madeline, thanks so much, I appreciate it.

      @Steven, I have some family members who love talking to groups too and I am so envious of them LOL. I hope I will do better the more experience I get, I guess that is the key with everything.

      @Shell, good idea about imagining myself answering, thanks!

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    10. Oh jeez, I have been there with the public speaking bit. It blows. I'm better now but boy could I tell you stories.

      A friend of mine gave me a few pointers. Bullets are paramount, practice (of course) and when in doubt, toast masters is an excellent sounding board.

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    11. When I was a student I never raised my hand in class to speak unless I absolutely had do (my grade depended on it). Then in grad school I was assigned to teach two courses or I would lose my scholarship. Oddly enough, I didn't mind standing in front of the class, speaking. But then back in my grad classes I was shy again. Hopefully you can find a happy medium. And best of luck!

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    12. Thanks for hosting this month, Julie. I never used to get anxious about talking in front of a group. I taught school for years. Now that I'm older I have to be so prepared, write out my talk, practice, practice, because I'm afraid of tripping over my tongue or going blank. Good luck with your talks. You'll do fine.

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    13. My nervousness in front of strangers or large groups tends to come out in other ways - either I talk way too fast, or I start fiddling with things like the keys in my pocket.

      Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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    14. I'll never forget when I had to take a speech class in college. I was pretty scared but found that the more I did it, the easier it became. I'm sure you'll do great and congrats on the signings...that's great news.

      Thanks for co-hosting this month, as well :)

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    15. Hi Julie, I totally understand your fear of public speaking. I used to have it pretty bad, but now it's gotten worse ten-fold. I'm sure you're going to do a fantastic job! Also, let me just say a quick thank you for co-hosting this month's IWSG. You guys are doing a wonderful job. Lily :)

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    16. I can relate. My social anxiety really gets bad if I have to speak in front of people. Take a few deep breaths. Maybe think of questions people might ask and prepare some answers for them. And people are generally pretty nice. They want to learn from you, so they'll let you take your time to get your words out.

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    18. I do not enjoy speaking front of others. My Public Speaking class was a nightmare, but I made it through. Somehow.

      That Seinfeld episode was on not that long ago - classic!

      Thanks for co-hosting =)

      Elsie
      AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge
      co-host IWSG

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    19. I always thought Glossophobia was a fear of paint ;-)

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    20. Even the thought of public speaking is terrifying, but I'm certain I read somewhere that it isn't necessary to do this at a book signing. You definitely don't need to do a 'reading', either.
      You will have to speak to people individually but I'm certain they'll perhaps be more tongue-tied than you, after all, you are the author.
      If you're still nervous have a drop of Vodka (I believe it doesn't leave any smell on your breath)!

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    21. I hate public speaking, too, but I feel like if it was for something like a book signing (as opposed to my college speech class...*shudders*), it would be a different sort of anxiety. Half dread and half excitement. Good luck with your events!

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    22. I laughed out loud at this post. But I'm with you. In fact, I'm such an introvert, I'd choose the casket. LOL

      I have faith in you. You'll do fine. Just imagine them all in their underwear. :P

      Thanks for co-hosting and thanks for visiting my blog. :)

      IWSG #268 (until Alex culls the list again or I goof and get myself deleted. :P)

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    23. Julie, that is a tough one. I was that way with singing. When I first started lessons in a small group, all I could do was look at my feet. If I caught someone looking at me, I freaked and made all sorts of mistakes. All I can suggest is that the more comfortable you are with what you are going to say, the more comfortable you will be with presenting. Make bullet points and refer to them as often as you can. And sometimes it helps to find one person in the audience who seems receptive and focus on them. Good luck.

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    24. It's fantastic everything you have planned. I have the same fear as you. I've lost my voice before. Really embarrassing! You're so brave for facing this fear and getting out there. It always helps me to practice scenarios and what I'll say in my head over and over and over again. Good luck! And thank you for co-hosting today. :)

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    25. I feel for you, Julie. I don't enjoy getting up in front of people either. Preparation is the key though. Know your talking points and you'll do fine. Sweaty maybe, but fine. :))

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    26. It's totally normal to be nervous about that kind of thing. Personally I find if I go over roughly what I'm going to say, making sure to get to grips with the subject matter as well as throwing a bit of energy into the routine, it helps bring the nerves down - almost as if I've already done the speech or presentation a few times before I actually get up to do it.

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    27. Holy Cats. Are we on the same wave length or what!!
      *still laughing*

      I rented a booth at a local Home Show where I'll need to *shiver* talk to people and convince them to read my book.
      At the last one, I was astonished by the people who said, "I don't read." why not say, "I don't breathe air", LOL.

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    28. And another thing:
      Thanks for co-hosting!!

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    29. I'm pretty weird. I love speaking to huge groups. Maybe it's from my speech and debate days. For my job, I often have to give seminars for 100s of doctors and stuff, so I'm used to it.

      And best of luck with your signings and speaking engagements. That is fantastic!!!

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    30. Good luck getting comfortable in your book promotion events. My story is almost the opposite. I used to LOVE public speaking. I thrived on it. Now, not so much. And I've found that since I don't want to do it anymore I've gotten much worse at it too. Isn't that weird? Not the getting worse because I don't like to do it anymore, but the going from loving it to hating it?

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    31. Good luck with that. Hopefully, you'll get better at it as you do more of it.

      Public speaking doesn't bother me, so I'm okay with that kind of thing--especially if I've had time to prepare what I'm going to say.

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    32. @Mina, thanks for the pointers, I appreciate the advice!

      @TB, I never raised my hand in class either. And I lived in fear of being called on unexpectedly LOL.

      @Diane, that's interesting that now you struggle more with it after teaching school for so long. Thanks so much for the good luck wishes!

      @Bob, I always talk way too fast as well, I've done that since I was a kid.

      @Mark, I really wish I had taken a class like that, I should have forced myself to do it!

      @Lily, thank you, and I'm so glad to meet you!

      @Cherie, that's a good thing to keep in mind, people generally are nice with this kind of stuff and it's not like I'm trying to win over a hostile crowd.

      @Elise, I can watch Seinfeld over and over again, I never tired of it LOL. Thanks to you for co-hosting as well!

      @Jane, LOL, that would actually make more sense to me. I'd never even heard of it.

      @Fanny, oh yeah, I know some people have had great success with readings but I can't imagine myself ever doing that. LOL about the vodka!

      @Sarah, yeah, there is the excitement for sure, but then I just don't want to much it all up. Thanks!

      @Melissa, LOL I'd have to think long and hard about the casket. ;) Thanks so much.

      @Karen, oh, that's so interesting that you were this way when you first started singing. Inspiring that you've been able to overcome it so well! Thanks so much for the tips.

      @Christine, I can imagine losing my voice, sorry that happened to you! Thank you for the good wishes.

      @LG, LOL, I think sweaty is inevitable LOL. :D

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    34. @Joe, that's a great idea to get to the point where I feel like I've done the presentation already. Thanks!

      @Carol, yeah, I laughed when I read your post!

      @Jay, oh, I don't think you're weird, I have relatives who are the same way. I admire it! Thanks so much.

      @Kim, that is surprising! I hope you will find that you are interested in doing it again if you want to do it for promotional events.

      @Donna, I hope so, thanks.

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    35. Sure you will get there and kill it indeed. And if it kills you, hey, at least you'll make some other poor person get all nervous when they have to give a eulogy hahaha

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    36. I hope you have fun at the events, I'm sure after the presentation is done you'll feel a lot better. Thanks for co-hosting!

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    37. Good luck! Book festivals are fun, but tiring. I think the best advice came from my kindergarten teacher -- be yourself. It helps me to cultivate happiness in my life to combat unfounded fear. I like Shawn Achor's Ted talk. You may check it out.

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    38. Oh Julie, you're going to be so awesome! I know that doesn't take away the panic, but I hope it helps a little bit. My college actually required EVERYONE to take a public speaking course - I went to Emerson, which was "Established in 1880, Emerson College is named for its founding president, Charles Wesley Emerson, an orator, preacher, and teacher." When the founder is an orator, everyone who attends has to be one, too, I guess. Anyway, most people hated it, but I think it was an invaluable lesson and helped everyone. I'd be glad to pass along some hard-learned tips - shoot me an email or a DM on Twitter! :)

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    39. @Pat, second time today you've made me laugh out loud. :D

      @Eric, I hope so, thanks!

      @Molly, I will check that out, thank you for the suggestion.

      @Liz, oh, that's really nice of you to offer, I will, thanks!!

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    40. Just the thought of public speaking makes me sick to my stomach. But I'm pretty sure it's better than being dead. LOL. Thanks for co-hosting, Julie!

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    41. *waves hello* Congrats on booking speaking engagements. Best of luck with them. I'm sure you'll do great. I find that preparation helps take away some stress/anxiety.

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    42. I think you will be fine, Julie. I used to do a lot of stage acting, but thought I would be terrified to speak as me in front of people. When I actually had to do it, it wasn't as bad as I thought. You could try the old acting trick of "fake it till you make it", and assume a character who does well at public speaking. Or maybe affirmations would work.

      And I am one of the many who believe that co-hosting the #IWSG gives you extra "cool" points that will help you out as well! :O)

      LuAnn #IWSG 323
      AJ's Hooligans @AtoZChallenge
      Back Porchervations

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    43. Oh Julie, you are going to be awesome. I just know it. As a vocal performer, I'll let you in on my secret. That nervous energy that ties you up in knots, use that. Channel it into actual energy for your performance and you'll be fine. Don't let it hold you back. Use it. =)

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    44. Thanks for co-hosting!

      Does the tip of imagining the audience in their underwear ever work?

      Congrats on the book signings and the festival! I wish you luck!

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    45. I used to be scared to death of talking in front of other people. Years of teaching chemistry and having to give reports to management at work have made me more comfortable with the process, but meeting and talking with new people is still a challenge for me.

      Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

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    46. I can relate to this anxiety! Interesting to hear it has a special name. However, I'm sure you will be brilliant with your presentations, sometimes the thought of things is worse than the actual doing. Best of luck and try to enjoy as much as you can of the experience.

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    47. @Joylene, LOL, yeah, I would rather still be alive even if it does involve public speaking.

      @Natasha, waving back! And thanks!

      @LuAnn, I will try faking it, thanks for the tip! I've never done any acting but there's no time like the present. And thank you too for the points, that's so nice of you.

      @Crystal, I will try, thank you!

      @Loni, LOL, I don't know but I guess it's worth a shot.

      @Ken, it does seem like the more you have to do it it becomes easier, I hope I will have more opportunities like this so I can find out if that's true for me.

      @Suzanne, thanks so much, I will!

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    48. You're going to do great. Just keep reciting Julius Caesar's words in your head as you go up: Veni, Vedi, Vici - I came, I saw, I conquered. If nothing else, people will hear you speaking in another language and that's always cool, right?

      Seriously, what I do (other than that), is that I prepare for a speech like I'm preparing for lines in a play - I put on a character if "writer," I dress the part, I recite my lines, and then I pray a lot, and just speak.

      You can do it!

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    49. @Tyrean, LOL, oh, I love that idea. I can be exotic speaking in a foreign language. :D I will try it, thanks!

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    50. Public speaking makes most people nervous, even those who do it a lot! My best advice (as a speech/theater coach) is too slow down. :) It'll help your nerves, keep you from stumbling, and help others understand you better. Good luck! You'll do great!

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    51. Hi, Julie,
      Seems like you've been doing a bit of work on the sales and PR front. I think only a small percentage of people ever lose the fear they have of speaking in front of a group of people.

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    52. Thank you for co-hosting the #IWSG today, Julie.

      Fear of standing in front of an audience to give a speech has always turned me into a stammering mess. I joined Toastmasters to overcome my fear but that didn't work either.

      Best of luck with your speaking engagements!

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    53. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month Julie!
      I have glossophobia... definitely... I find it very stressful to speak in front of a crowd.
      HAPPY WORLD READ ALOUD DAY!!
      Writer In Transit

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    54. Great Seinfeld bit! I'm sorry that you're so uncomfortable about public speaking. Since you're such a talented writer, maybe you can just imagine that you're one of your characters. Bring note cards, and just practice, practice, practice. There might even be a hypnosis class that will teach you breathing exercises, and other tricks to help you relax. You've already won half the battle by having exceptional books to present. Good luck Julie, and thanks for co- hosting the IWSG!

      Julie

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    55. I think that's a great attitude to have! You might be nervous at first but you'll do well. Good luck!

      http://lucindawhitney.com/

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    56. @Rachel, oh, I didn't know you were a coach! Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it.

      @Joy, trying to! I hope these events will help.

      @Gail, stammering mess about sums it up for me too. Sorry toastmasters didn't work for you, I have a feeling I'd have the same result.

      @Michelle, I didn't know it was read aloud day! Not a day I'd do well with LOL. :D

      @Julie, I appreciate that, thanks! I will definitely bring the note cards, in fact I'll probably end up with a whole box LOL.

      @Lucinda, I hope so, thanks!

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    57. Hope you get past those fears. I really enjoy being on panels and public speaking though once it would have terrified me.

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    58. I think a lot of authors may suffer from this phobia. Someone has got to do some research. The great thing about you Julie is that even though you hate public speaking, you scheduled the book signings, it's a step.

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    59. It's such a tricky thing, this new paradigm of being an author which requires that you not only be talented with the written word, but also the spoken. Congrats and good luck with it all!

      AJ @ Naturally Sweet
      An A-Z Cohost
      @ayjaylauer

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    61. @Susan, it's good to know you enjoy it now. I hope I can get there too!

      @Nana, oh, I hadn't thought of it that way, thanks!

      @ayjay, yeah, I much prefer the written LOL. Thanks!

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    62. I hate speaking in public too, although I loved to act in high school. So maybe it would help if you prepared some things to say, put them on small cards and practiced a bit. Good luck!!

      (PS - thanks for commenting on my blog. I LOVE that Doris Day is so active for animal rights and donates a ton of money to good causes. She's a wonderful person!)

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    63. Wonderful honest post. My advice?Practice, practice, practice. Someone told me to remember that everyone out there in the audience is rooting for you to do well. That helped me a lot. Thanks for co-hosting.

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    64. Good luck, Julie! There's nothing more rewarding than facing our fears head on. I know- really, KNOW that you'll do great. How? Because you're too awesome of a person not to make a go of it. Will you be perfect? No, because you're not perfect- you're Julie. And your audience will adore you for that.

      Thanks for co-hosting again!

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    65. @Lexa, your blog post was so inspiring, I loved it. Thanks for the good luck wishes!

      @JQ, thanks for that, that's a good thing to remember and I can imagine it did help. Great to meet you!

      @Beverly, aww, how nice, thank you!

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    66. Not much of a public speaker either. Maybe it's a trait writers share? ;) Kudos to you for braving it though. That's definitely a big step. Good luck!

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    67. I find that getting the guest to speak about themselves, how they might find things relating to them in the book helps the conversation run smoother. Who doesn't like to talk about themselves? The buyer walks away with a great book and the feeling that the author cared about them Win-Win!

      Good luck with your signings and speaking. I'm on a panel discussion at a conference this month. Time to practice breathing!

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    68. Huh! loved this post, trust me I know what you mean, I am the Queen of making a fool out of myself. If you want to ruin the event just ask me to speak in public. Good luck.

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    69. @Caffe, it does seem like there are a lot of us who share this LOL. Thanks!

      @Dean, thanks and good luck with your discussion too!

      @Haneen, LOL, I am the Queen too. Thanks!

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    70. I deplore public speaking! I've always been shy, and even in school I hated presenting in front of the class. My heart would race uncontrollably, my stomach would cramp, my hands sweat, my mouth would go dry, and I'd just want to hide. Of I ever have to speak in public or do an interview one-on-one, I'd probably take lessons to prepare myself and help with my anxiety.

      Best of luck to you with your upcoming events!

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    71. I'm impressed with the way you're facing your fears for the sake of your books. You are an excellent marketer, Julie. You could probably give a seminar...another public speaking challenge!

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    72. Break a tongue? I get nervous still, but do a lot better than I used to. Practice does help.

      Think of it as talking to friends. Other authors are as socially awkward as the rest of us. So you're going to be great.

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    73. I once had a teacher in a speech class tell me to stand in front of a mirror while I practiced my speech. You become aware of yourself and your little movements with your hands and face. You also become more comfortable with yourself so when you speak in front of others you are more relaxed. I tried it and found myself laughing. This could, however, work both ways. You could become more self-conscious. Hmm...

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    74. I did some public speaking for a while and the way I got over the anxiety was to remember that it doesn't matter if I stumble over my words. Everyone does at some time, and most people won't care or even remember.

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    75. Loved your tie-in with Seinfield--that was a great episode! I can relate to those public speaking fears too, but that's so great that you're not letting it stop you. I'm sure it will get easier with practice.

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    76. I shall advise you as I would advise my students:

      - Preparation is everything.
      - Don't forget to breathe - no better way to calm the nerves than a good, deep breath.

      Good luck and congrats on the honor.

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    77. I can honestly say that public speaking is a part of me. Growing up in my family, everyone had to speak in public at some point. If I was ever afraid of it, I can't remember. However, I do have the constant fear that I'll get up to speak and no one will be there. The idea of being alone in large empty space waiting to speak to no one, makes me sad.

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    78. @Chrys, I was the exact same way in school. And probably will be that way now too LOL. Thanks!

      @Johanna, oh, that's hard to imagine LOL. Thank you!

      @Mary, LOL, it took me a minute to know what you meant with break a tongue. I am slow. Thanks!

      @Karen, thanks for the tip! And I had to laugh when I got to the end of your comment as I was thinking the same thing LOL.

      @Lynda, that's a good way to look at it, thank you.

      @Jenni, I hope so, thanks so much.

      @Armchair, I appreciate the advice, thanks!

      @Toinette, that's honestly a good point, it would be worse to have no one show up for the event!

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    79. I get super nervous too when speaking in front of people, but the more I practice what I'm going to say the better I do (for me anyway). I'm sure you will do great.

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    80. Public speaking...shiver, shiver. Sometimes it has to be done, but hopefully not by me, ha ha. But necessary at book signings. Went to a great one the other night. Boy, did that author rock it, but it was her fifth, so she seemed chilled.

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    81. I'm impressed that you're doing these events! Like you, I am terrified of this. Yesterday I did an event at the local elementary school. I was terrified. All went well, though. Thanks for co-hosting!

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    82. I love how books have given you strength and how you've shown so much courage for your work! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm so happy to be connected with you!

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    83. I relate so much to this public speaking anxiety oh god. I'm sure it will all go well though. This is the exciting part where you actually get to meet the people that love every word of what you've written! Good luck with signings! And thank you for stopping by my blog.:)

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    84. I definitely have that. I can break out in a sweat just thinking about public speaking. I get nervous just speaking up in meetings. But I did take a few public speaking and acting classes in college, and remember how the anxiety lessened with time while talking in front of people regularly. Now that that its been over a decade, I'm it would be like starting all over. It is easier talking about something you you're passionate about...like your books. That's exciting you've lined up those events. You'll be great!

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    85. I can certainly identify with your glossophobia. I have struggled with it for as long as I can remember and, despite help from a number of people, it won't go away.
      The only answer I have found is bluff. In the words of Anna in the song I whistle a happy tune from The King and I:
      The result of this deception is very strange to tell, for when I fool the people I fear, I fool myself as well!

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    86. I used to hate public speaking, too, but kept having to do it (was head of Women's Ministries at my church so there were many opportunities in which I had no choice but to get up there with that scary microphone.)I do know this: the more you do it, the smaller your anxiety grows. I totally get what you're feeling - that was me, too. But I think if you keep at it, and your positive attitude that you want and need to do this so you just will - is going to get you far. Best of luck,
      Tina @ Life is Good
      A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
      Co-hosting the IWSG

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    87. Interesting to know the term, "glossophobia". Taking note of that.

      Lots of luck!

      SittieCates
      The Musings of a Hopeful and Pecunious Wordsmith

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    88. I can relate to your fear. I find I am fine in familiar situations, like in front of a class, but sometimes when speaking in front of peers, for no reason at all I suffer this wave of panic and I can hear my voice rise an octave or two and feel my heart pounding in my chest and just know my cheeks are blushing red, showing outwardly, what is going on in my head.

      Thanks for helping with ISWG this month, I hope you enjoyed it!

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    89. @Kimberly, thank you! I am definitely going to do lots of practicing.

      @Denise, LOL I am shivering too. But I hope by the time I get to the last one I have scheduled I will be able to chill like that author you saw.

      @Julie, glad to read your event went well!

      @Saumya, aww, I am happy we met too, thanks!

      @Anoosha, my pleasure and thank you as well!

      @Michael, I get nervous in meetings too, basically I just hate speaking LOL. Thanks!

      @Keith, oh, I love that song, used to listen to my mom's King & I record when I was a kid. Going to keep that in mind, thanks!

      @Tina, I hope so, thanks so much. It's great to know that you are now comfortable with it!

      @Sittie, thanks!

      @Carolyn, it seems there are lots of us who can relate, at least we have company LOL. Thank you!

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    90. Let yourself be nervous, but keep your focus on why you're doing this and you'll be fine. Knowing you, you'll be ultra-prepared, so just take a deep breath, try not to talk too fast, and charm the heck out of 'em!

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    91. Oddly, making speeches or doing public readings don't scare me all that much. But having to mingle with strangers and make conversation is terrifying for me.

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    92. Congratulations! I think blogging in a way prepares one for interacting with others. I missed my IWSG post this month, but doing a book signing is top on my list of things I feel insecure about.

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    93. @Nicki, I'll try my best, thanks!

      @LD, I hate mingling too. The two together is enough to send me running for a hole to hide in LOL.

      @Scribbles, that's a good point, I do love the blogging interactions. Thanks!

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    94. I have such a glib personality in social situations that I'm shocked at myself when I have a hard time communicating in front of people when it actually matters. Like, in front of my supervisor when she's asking specific questions about a case, or in front of the CSD lawyer or judge, or an agent or editor who likes my submission.

      If I could train myself not to care about outcomes (opinions don't intimidate me) I could totally talk with impunity. But, I understand where you're coming from Julie; posting a written opinion, giving a lecture, presenting your research facts; this all reflects back on your expertise, and that's hard to accept.

      ......dhole

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    95. I can understand the fear of public speaking. Maybe you can practise in front of supportive family and friends first so you know some of what the experience is going to be like and then you might even enjoy it :)

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    96. I do go through this, but I believe I can pull myself together last minute and wing it. Public speaking is nerve-wracking for me.

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    97. i think the worst part is that since we are writers, everyone expects us to be eloquent speakers - they have no idea how many edits and redos we go thru to get our writing perfect!

      i find it helps if i can laugh at myself before others laugh at me =)

      happy friday!

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    98. @Donna, I think that's what I need to work on - training myself not to care about the outcome and just going with the flow. Easier said than done for me to say the least.

      @Rebecca, I am definitely going to do lots of practicing, maybe I really will be able to enjoy the experiences. I hope so!

      @Tara, that's a good idea LOL. Thanks!

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    99. @Medeia, I've been able to wing it in the past so I really need to stop worrying so much, I think that is half the battle.

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    100. You succeed when you face your fears head on. Do you have opportunities to speak to smaller groups? Maybe a book club or girl scouts, or something. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Be prepared. Practice. And, believe in yourself. You were asked to speak because you have something to say!
      Play off the Page

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    101. I've got that! So, I have no advice I can offer. But good luck - and have a big box of chocolates waiting for you when you get home :-)

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    102. @Mary, there is a smaller event coming up this month that I just signed up for - it's very low key and I hope it will help me get more comfortable. Thanks for the encouragement!

      @Annalisa, good plan, LOL. :D

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    103. Awesome job co-hosting! You'll go great! If you're really nervous, start off your talk with that Seinfeld joke--humor is, by far, the best way to break in an audience:) *Unless it's a funeral, then, maybe not so much*
      WriterlySam Join the A to Z Theme Reveal Party!

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    104. @Samantha, oh, that's a great idea! Thanks for the suggestion. :D

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    105. I absolutely CANNOT STAND public speaking either - so I know how you feel! Of course, I am not as bad as some, since I never feel nauseous, per se. I do have a sort of fluttery feeing in my tummy and my chest feels a bit tight and stuff. But I do find that if i know my stuff and don't have to speak for too long, and have dot points written down that I can refer to, I don't do too badly. Doesn't mean I WANT to do this public speaking crap, but I sadly have to for my day job sometimes. ARGH.

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    106. @Trisha, I almost wish I did have to do it for my job more, only because maybe then I'd get so used to it that it wouldn't be as problematic. I do think having the points written down is key, I'm going to make sure I do that.

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    107. I too, get nervous speaking to people I don't know, especially en mass. I don't like the physical sensations I have that prevent me from thinking, much less, talking in a relaxed and informative way. But it can be done, and I would like to wish you deep breaths, inner peace, and a smile, to help you make it through. Just remember, try to look at one person at a time and laugh at your own foolishness and you'll do fine!

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    108. @Lisa, thank you so much for your good wishes! I really appreciate your comment, thanks!

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    Thank you for your comments!