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Archive for ‘Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking’

Presentations Matter – Because You Can Make the World a Better Place


by Kelly Vandever

Methods and tools to prevent the spread of AIDS.

A game that teaches children to brush their teeth.

Funding for a Head Start program.

These are the reasons I do what I do.
I do not have the knowledge to teach others how to prevent the spread of AIDS. But I can coach a research scientist how to present her findings in a more effective manner.

I didn’t know how to effectively teach my own …

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Why Your 2014 New Year’s Resolution Should NOT Be Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

by Kelly Vandever

It might sound strange coming from a presentation coach… but if you have decided that “overcoming the fear of public speaking” as your New Year’s Resolution for 2014, I argue that you should reconsider.

What?  Have you gone crazy, Kelly?!

Well maybe.  But I think, if you have a fear of public speaking, instead of concentrating on yourself and your fear, I encourage you to set your resolution to… “Serve My Audience.”   Here’s how….

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The Dirty Little Secret – Beta Blockers and the Fear of Public Speaking

The woman before me was a competent, intelligent, and normally confident person.  But the thought of public speaking, particularly to a group of executives in her company, drove her to take drastic measures.
1 – She hired me to coach her
2 – She spoke to her best friend who happened to be a physician about prescribing a med to decrease her anxiety
She shared with me what her doctor said — beta blockers are the dirty little secret that no one talks about.
Beta Blockers – Last …

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Nervous about Presenting?

Early in my work coaching executives, one VP said to me, “I hate public speaking.  What I’m hoping is that you can help me get over my fear of public speaking.”

I was honest with her.  “There are things we can do together to make you feel more comfortable and confident.  But unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand.  I can’t promise that you’ll ‘get over’ being nervous.”
No Magic Pixie Dust
A 2001 Gallup poll reported that 40% of Americans have a fear of public speaking.  …

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Why You Can’t Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

On a street in Spain with my mom and kid brother.

I was a Navy brat growing up and my dad was stationed in Spain for 4 years when I was in grade school.  While living in Spain, I picked up a few words of Spanish.  We lived in the Andalusia territory of southern Spain and I’m told that I pronounce certain words with an Andalusian accent.  (At …

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New Year’s Resolution: Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking

 It’s that time of year again… when the roll of the calendar makes us think about how we’d like to make our life better in the year to come.


If you’ve set “overcoming the fear of public speaking” on your new year’s resolution list, I’m guess you have a good reason for it.  Are you hoping to do better at work or at school by overcoming the fear?  Do you have an important message to share that won’t get out there if …

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Want to Get Better at Public Speaking? Flail Around Like a New Drummer!

At the age of 48 years and 11 months, I decided to take up the drums.  Yes, under this nerdy exterior lurks the heart of a wannabe, uber-cool, rock-n-roll chick.


My son-in-law Eric is an amazing drummer who played professionally in a number of local Atlanta bands.  He offered to give me lessons.


He originally had me pick out a few songs and we decided to start with Eric Clapton’s song Cocaine.


During the first lesson, Eric (the son-in-law, not Mr. Clapton) showed me some basic drum rhythms to …

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If Your New Year’s Resolution Contains Anything about Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking – THEN SPEAK IN FRONT OF PEOPLE!

People like myself who join Navy ROTC halfway through our college years enter a six-weeks long indoctrination program called the Naval Science Institute in Newport, Rhode Island.  Included in the program is the study of Naval warfare, learning basic military protocols and of course, physical training – PT for short.  Our days began with PT on a grassy knoll along the waterfront.  Nice.

Not so nice was that we shared the grassy knoll with hundreds Canadian geese.  The geese didn’t just use the grassy knoll as a hangout.  They used it for what we in the Navy call a head.  You civilians call it a bathroom.

If …

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