Entering college, I was already equipped with effective written communications skills, but my public speaking skills were not on par with these skills. Public speaking was always something that I feared; it was something that I was just not comfortable doing. I knew that this was a fear that I was going to have to overcome in order to have a successful career.
Throughout the course of my college experience I was given ample opportunities to practice my public speaking skills. These opportunities range from short informal presentations to long formal ones that simulated real life professional scenarios. I can honestly say that due to these practice opportunities, I have become an effective, more comfortable public speaker.
One of the best and most helpful examples of how this practice had helped me develop public speaking skills took place during my sophomore year. As part of the curriculum of my Sport in Society class, we were assigned to outline and present a chapter of our book while using current references through the inclusion of video clips. The chapter that I chose for this assignment dealt with how politics relates to sports in society. I prepared for this presentation just as how I would prepare for any other and presented it on my scheduled day.
After presenting information about my chapter, I was approached by my professor Dr. Klinedinst about representing the Sport Management department at the college's Scholars Week. I agreed to take part in Scholars Week and began filling out the necessary paperwork as well as fine-tuning my presentation. On the day of the presentation, I was unprepared for the amount of nerves that would surface from being in an unfamiliar venue as well as in front of an unfamiliar audience. After this onset of nerves, I quickly calmed myself by taking a couple deep breaths and giving myself a little mental pep talk, and successfully presented my speech without any trouble or sign of nerves.
Below is a copy of my presentation, as well as a recommendation from Dr. Klinedinst.
"Laura strives to do her best in all she does even when it is uncomfortable to do so. I watched her grow from a shy and uncertain public speaker to one who spoke clearly and focused on her audience with confidence. In addition, Laura is a thorough and detail oriented person who works diligently on each project she is assigned.”