The past week I was a bit busy and worried about a public speaking I had to do. A colleague persuaded me to make the speaking although I haven't experience in these kind of activities, but I'd like to know how to make great presentations so I decided to head for it!
The presentation topic was: "Social networks and Security", specifically with Twitter. The week prior to the presentation I felt very nervous. I did several tests before the presentation day, it was a bit technical because it was supposed the people who will attend it would have knowledge and experience with the topic.
The presentation day arrived, luckily for me there weren't enough people (the first presentations it's best to make it in front of not many people, I think) between ten and fourteeen attendants. The first question I did them was about their experience with the topic and half of the attendants hadn't any prior experience with the topic so I had to improvise most of the presentation. While I was speaking in public I felt my mouth dry and some words were difficult to found them due to the anxiety but at least I could finish the presentation. I showed them practical examples to learn in a easy way the topic and they asked several questions so I supposed they were interested despite some mistakes I did.
I think the best way to learn to speak in public with confidence is putting yourself in front of people even you are sure you will make mistakes. Prior to this activity the only time I was in front of public was when I was a student. Unfortunately the education in Spain don't teach us any skill in how to make public speaking. I think this kind of activity is very important in the current times. And the education should included it in his plan in some way.
How about public speaking in your country?