I used to be terrified of public speaking. The idea of getting up in front of a room full of people to talk would fill me with so much anxiety, I’d be vomiting beforehand. Being a business major in college however, meant having to do a lot of speeches and presentations, so I was forced to get a grip. You can’t give a presentation to your coworkers or to clients if you’re bent over a trashcan heaving, so I told myself to get over it, that it was a ridiculous thing to be afraid of, and that the quicker I got it over with, the sooner I could sit down and let someone have a go. While giving the speech, remembering that it’s important to make eye contact with people, I would scan the room every so often, but focus on a spot just above everyone’s heads and behind them, so that it gave the appearance I was looking at them while I spoke, but in actuality, I was talking to the wall. It helped calm my nerves. Now, I love public speaking. It’s important to remember that the vast majority of people in the room don’t want to be there either, and probably hate speaking in public as much, if not more than you do. If you happen to be talking about a subject no one really cares about, you might get lucky and have no one paying attention, which can allow you to trick yourself into thinking you’re speaking to an empty room.
Hey, whatever works.