Fear of Public Speaking >= Fear of Death?!

When I arrived at the BOF meeting at the N3UG last night, Miguel was doing his best to try and recruit some volunteers to speak at the upcoming NJ code camp.  Miguel asked the group if anyone would be interested in speaking.  Not a single hand went up.  Well, an ice breaker was probably needed before the question was asked.  But after a few awkward jokes, the group moved into a discussion on public speaking. 


Note:  BTW, Don Demsak and Scott Watermasyk are still in the process of recruiting speakers for the upcoming NJ Code Camp on June 3rd.  If you are interested, please visit the NJ Code Camp website and submit a session topic!


Do you know that some folks have a fear of public speaking that is worse than the fear of death?!  I can relate to that as I used to loathe it myself.  I’m mostly over that fear now, and that’s a good thing since my new job basically requires me to do it on a regular basis!  But it took me some time to get there.  I’m still no where near perfect at it.  I’m sure anyone who has heard me speak knows that I still spit out a lot of ‘umm’s and ‘soooo’s. 


One suggestion brought up at the meeting was to pick a partner to present with.  If you have two people presenting, it makes things go easier.  For example, one person could do the speaking, and the other could run a demo.  The first time speaker can run the demo, which requires some talking to get through the demo.  But, since you’ll be immersed in the demo, you’re less likely to focus on the fact that you’re in front of a crowd.  Of course, if your demo falters (as they often do), you can always rely on your partner to have your back with some smart ad-libs.


David Hayden, a C# MVP from Florida, recently wrote a great blog post about helping out first-time Code Camp speakers. 


Don Demsak has already posted an “offer you can’t refuse” to motivate folks to speak at the NJ Code Camp.  I’ll add one more offer.  If anyone is interested in speaking for the first time, and would like a partner, I’ll volunteer to help them out.  I am interested in finding folks who want to present on the WinFX technologies (WCF, WPF, InfoCard, WF).  If you are interested in speaking and have another topic, let me know anyway.


Do any of the experienced speakers out there have some tips and tricks of the trade to share with the folks who are considering giving it a first run?  Let me know.  Post them down in the comments!





Comments (4)

  1. Last night, when I showed up at the Northern Jersey UG, it turned out that the featured speaker wasn’t…

  2. jvierra says:

    Wasn’t that Miguel’s comment?

  3. Via Scott Watermasyk … Looks like Code Camp III for New Jersey will be taking place on Saturday November

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