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Author Topic: What do you do if you're nervous about public speaking?  (Read 13156 times)

Kelly

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What do you do if you're nervous about public speaking?
« on: April 17, 2005, 02:22:51 PM »
For people who do not like public speaking (like myself) yet still want to get into litigation and are nervous about the whole speaking in front of crowds (like myself)- do you recommend a course like ToastMaster's or something along those lines?

Thanks all!

kristin1644

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Re: What do you do if you're nervous about public speaking?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2005, 05:00:46 PM »
You don't like public speaking but want to be a litigator?  That's interesting...

Kelly

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Re: What do you do if you're nervous about public speaking?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2005, 06:55:49 PM »
yup! :-\

You don't like public speaking but want to be a litigator?  That's interesting...

sharmaine73

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Re: What do you do if you're nervous about public speaking?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2005, 08:06:01 PM »
I feel the same way!  I don't want to be a litigator though.  But you will have to do plenty of speaking in front of people in law school -- in class, moot court, etc.  What I try to do, if I can, is just be very prepared.  I will sometimes resort to reading note cards.  I also remind myself to slow down when I am speaking.  This gives me time to think about what I am going to say so the words come out right. If don't do this, I am liable to get flustered.  I have also resorted, at times, to pretending I am someone I admire in the oratory area.  This works too. Of course sometimes it's so bad that my knees feel like they are going to buckle and I start seeing stars.  At times like that, there's nothing for it. If I have note cards I read them , if I don't, I just pray for it all to be over before I lose consciousness...

However,I am told that the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

It will be important to learn how to maintain a cool head.  There are blowhards in law school that like nothing more than to see you get flustered.

onehandedreader

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Re: What do you do if you're nervous about public speaking?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2005, 09:45:28 PM »
the best advice i can give is the same thing one of my professors told the class on the first day: "don't like speaking in front of people?  Get over it."  you'll get plenty of practice in your first year, and if you want to be a litigator you're going to need it.
At the very least, you're going to have to answer your prof's questions while the rest of your class listens.  We also do alot of oral advocacy at my school, if yours is anything like it, at some point in your first year you'll be performing oral arguments in front of a panel of judges.  never in front of crowds, though.   
The easiest way to get over it, is to realize that it's not a big deal, even if you think you sound stupid.  most people do, when asked to answer without preparing a speech.  go to class prepared, but understand that your teacher will likely ask you questions that can't be answered by looking it up in your book or notes, and also it's better to pause and think about it for a second than to be halfway through an answer, and realize you don't want to go that direction. 
don't throw your money away on a class for this.
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Kelly

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Re: What do you do if you're nervous about public speaking?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2005, 11:39:09 PM »
This is great advice!! Thank you for this!  I do hope I get over it quick! :-\

the best advice i can give is the same thing one of my professors told the class on the first day: "don't like speaking in front of people?  Get over it."  you'll get plenty of practice in your first year, and if you want to be a litigator you're going to need it.
At the very least, you're going to have to answer your prof's questions while the rest of your class listens.  We also do alot of oral advocacy at my school, if yours is anything like it, at some point in your first year you'll be performing oral arguments in front of a panel of judges.  never in front of crowds, though.   
The easiest way to get over it, is to realize that it's not a big deal, even if you think you sound stupid.  most people do, when asked to answer without preparing a speech.  go to class prepared, but understand that your teacher will likely ask you questions that can't be answered by looking it up in your book or notes, and also it's better to pause and think about it for a second than to be halfway through an answer, and realize you don't want to go that direction. 
don't throw your money away on a class for this.

lawgirl

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Re: What do you do if you're nervous about public speaking?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2005, 10:24:46 PM »
For people who do not like public speaking (like myself) yet still want to get into litigation and are nervous about the whole speaking in front of crowds (like myself)- do you recommend a course like ToastMaster's or something along those lines?

Thanks all!

I, like you, was extremely nervous when I started law school. In undergrad, I put off my speech class until the last possible minute. I hated it.

When I started law school, I realized that I would have to get over it because I really wanted to be a litigator. At my original law school, they made you stand to recite the cases and you regularly got grilled by the professor about the cases so that kind of stressed me out in the beginning. But honestly, that is one of the best things that will help you. You will get used to it. I kind of looked at it like a challenge: it was a challenge for me in terms of making sure I knew the material, but it also helped lessen the anxiety. The more you do it, better you will feel about it.

I would advise to try to get involved in anything that will force you to go out there and confront it. I think a ToastMasters class is an excellent idea. Even if you don't do that, you will have plenty of opportunities in law school to confront your anxiety. Many schools have an oral argument requirement in one of the research and writing classes. You can also do Moot Court or things like that. After awhile, you will feel better about it.

I finally started getting over it when I had to do some mock oral arguments in front of real judges. I still have plenty of areas to work on, but I don't get nearly as stressed as I used to. Now, it seems like I turned a corner and something else took over. I absolutely love the feeling of it because I feel much more confident and it is a chance to really use the skills you have gained from researching the law and making legal arguments.

Treat it like a personal challenge and don't let it get in the way of what you really want.

carrie

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Re: What do you do if you're nervous about public speaking?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2005, 10:29:43 PM »
Trust me, once you get to law school- you will have no choice but to speak up and speak out!

For people who do not like public speaking (like myself) yet still want to get into litigation and are nervous about the whole speaking in front of crowds (like myself)- do you recommend a course like ToastMaster's or something along those lines?

Thanks all!

Kelly

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Re: What do you do if you're nervous about public speaking?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2005, 01:27:26 PM »
Thanks everyone! ;)

theexterminator

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Re: What do you do if you're nervous about public speaking?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2005, 10:09:56 PM »
The whole idea of going to law school and becoming a lawyer is this "public speaking" thing! So, if you're not good at arguing and talking with these big f-ing words, choose smth else to do!