Many jobs in STEM require frequent presentations but I get nervous easily. How can I learn to be a more confident public speaker?

“What has helped me build confidence in public speaking was starting to memorize my presentation! I would type it all out – even “hello thanks for coming!” The trick is to know your outline, and not get nervous if you feel like you’re not following your script. Practicing your ‘script’ helps show yourself that you know your material well, and over time, you won’t need to script it out first!”

Jeanie Nguyen
Healthcare Strategist Gilead

“This is probably an obvious answer, but frequent practice is very important to feel confident with public speaking! Give yourself time to plan what you will say, practice with the visual aids, and ask friends or family for feedback if needed. If you are in a laboratory, you can ask the group to hear you practice and this can make you feel more comfortable when presenting for real (e.g. research presentations). Finally the day of, it helps to warm up your voice, be hydrated, and listen to uplifting music.”

Amanda Finn
Graduate Student University of Alabama at Birmingham

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