Several months ago I faced a problem. I had to make a presentation of my science project in front of a large audience of unknown people. First I felt quite enthusiastic about the experience, but soon I realized that the only thought made me feel panicky. I tried to write the text of my presentations and practice them at home imagining the audience. However, I felt it was not helpful at all. Finally, I came to the conclusion I had to take a short course in presentation skills.
I searched the web, enrolled on a course and in two weeks came to listen to something that was advertized as a deep end technique. The lecturer, Professor Hemlick, turned out to be a wonderful presenter himself: he managed to break the ice quickly, talked about the way we all felt, gave some tips and soon we got so much involved in the discussion that had not even noticed that we were actually making presentations.
First, we discussed the issue of successful planning, then he gave us several useful tips on how to make our presentation sound interesting. Finally, we practiced numerous psychological relaxation techniques and made short presentations to each other. And then it was time for our big test. Each of us received a very specific task and a small digital video camera. We had to go to different bars and cafes and make a presentation to the totally unknown people in there, recording our performance.
Although I felt embarrassed first, I soon discovered that I could easily use all the techniques I had learned on the course. Moreover, instead of being panic-stricken, I was actually enjoying it. No need to say, the experience gave me great satisfaction and helped with my future presentations, which were now a piece of cake for me.