Why do three out of every four people experience some anxiety when giving speeches? Are we all that afraid of hecklers? Or is there some primitive brain response when we’re the focus of a group’s attention? Do our primitive brains react as if we’re a lagging antelope noticed by a pride of hungry lions, making our hearts pound and pumping adrenaline through our blood so we can run for our lives?
As a shy junior high student I was determined to overcome my fears, and signed up for public speaking. I spent the evening before each weekly speech in tears, agonizing about the next day’s ordeal, while my mother, who was growing more and more exasperated, advised me to “just quit the class.” I didn’t quit. I sobbed over my collection of 3X5 index cards covered with my notes, and the next morning stood before the hungry lions blushing and stumbling through my speech instead of running for my life.
Did I become a better public speaker? Who knows, maybe a little better, when I didn’t drop or mix up the 3X5 index cards. A public speaking app would have made life so much easier by keeping track of what I had to say and when I had to get it said. An app that could keep the content in order and keep me on topic to avoid rambling and jumbling my presentation would have helped enormously too.
Let’s face it, public speaking is just hard for some people, but sometimes you just have to do the hard stuff. If you have to speak in public, either because you want to do battle with your fears or because your job or family or friends need you to give a speech or presentation, then I say take advantage of anything that will help you succeed and make the experience a little easier. Ditch the traditional 3X5 index cards, sticky notes, and printed PowerPoint slides and grab the latest technology. It’s the latest in hungry lion repellant.
Sean Evangelista is the CEO of Magoozle LLC, a software development company in Virginia Beach, VA. Their current project is Podium Pro, the public speaking iPad App, coming soon to The App Store!