My Knees Were Knocking (from public speaking anxiety)

My Knees Were Knocking (from public speaking anxiety)

“Do you still get nervous before you speak?” This is my most frequently asked question. My reply? “Yes, a little.” A touch of nervousness is good, It means you care about your program and it’s effect on your audience.  You don’t want it to become public speaking anxiety.

Last night I had a different experience. I was edgy, had trouble sleeping and even experienced moments of panic concerning a 15-minute program I was to deliver in the morning. After a few hours of what passed for sleep, I popped out of bed to practice my speech for the umpteenth time. I knew it backwards and forwards, yet I was as jumpy as a cat in a dog pound.

I have delivered thousands of programs to some of our largest companies and have been on stage in front of the crême de la crême of the corporate world; performed in top casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and on TV reaching millions of viewers but to date I’ve never had a more important speech, with so much riding on it.

Right before I went on, my introducer gave me final instructions, “Whatever you do just don’t embarrass me and I hope you’re not going to tell any of your jokes!” Ouch!

My palms were actually sweating. I prayed, “God, if You’ve ever thought about taking me young, let it be now!” Then came my introduction:

“Our speaker this morning is a professional speaker, humorist and magician. The title of his program is ‘Live, Laugh and Learn.’ Please help me welcome the commencement speaker for our fifth grade graduation, Jeff Justice…my dad!”

By |2013-11-29T21:42:44+00:00June 26th, 2013|Categories: Articles|Comments Off on My Knees Were Knocking (from public speaking anxiety)

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