It is an unfortunate coincidence that this year's graduates must experience both elation and trepidation. While they rightfully deserve to bask in their academic accomplishments and celebrate, these young men and women must also confront one of our biggest fears as they prepare to interview for jobs or graduate school.
In the past year and a half, I've given over 100 keynote speeches and hundreds of presentations, and things have changed dramatically. I still get nervous occasionally, but public speaking is now one of my favorite activities. Here are the five steps that have been most helpful in reducing my anxiety.
All TED events are managed by a committee, including one that oversees the speaker selection. Often, committee members have some ideas on who they would like to attend and speak at the event. However, all of the events also accept nominations for speakers as well, especially those who fit their specific theme.
After giving a few hundred speeches in the past year, I've been struck by the variety of ways that different people introduce the same speaker. Some introductions energize me and seem to leave the audience excited to hear from me. Other introductions inadvertently make it more difficult to deliver a successful speech.