One of my professional goals for this year is to improve my public speaking abilities. About 5-10 minutes into a presentation, I'm generally fine. But the hours leading up to it and those first few minutes, I'm a mess. I get really nervous and sometimes feel sick to my stomach. When I begin talking, I'll be tense, shaky and often talk really fast. Then I generally am able to relax into it and be okay.
I was talking with Dave, a coworker, this morning after I had given a large presentation to the staff. I told him of my nervousness and how I wished I could reduce it. He told me that it generally just takes time and practice. As I do it more and more, he said that it'll become more natural and gradually the nervousness will go away. That was actually encouraging. I anticipate an increase in public speaking opportunities with my new roles and it's good to hear that it should get easier. Thankfully, my nervousness does not preclude me from actually doing the public speaking.
I need more time and more practice.