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Big public speaking anxiety.. watch

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    I'm at uni at the moment and have just started going to seminars which I am hating as I know it is going to involve a lot of speaking to the group/presentations. In our first seminar lesson we had to each talk about ourselves in front of the group, eg. why we chose the course, even just that sent me into a nervous wreck, stumbling over my words and palms all clammy, even though there's only like 10 other people in the group. The rest of the lesson I was trying to calm myself down, hoping the teacher wouldn't ask me something and feeling like I'm gonna have an asthma attack. I know public speaking is a common fear but most people can hide their nerves whereas I can't or find it very difficult to.

    Next week I'll have to do a presentation in front of the group, only a short one but I'm dreading it. It's frustrating because I can talk quite happily outside of lessons when I'm with one or a few people - I'm friendly with most people in the seminar group but in the teaching situation I feel horribly nervous in front of everyone. I got bullied a bit in school - some girls used to laugh and whisper behind my back whenever I did presentations and such so that's why I have such a fear of it.

    I really want to get over this though and be able to offer my ideas to a group without panicking.. so I would appreciate any advice (and I don't want to be taking drugs or anything similar to calm me down)

    Personally I've found that doing lots of preparation and really knowing what I want to say helps. I was quite nervous when I started doing seminars last semester and in my first uni presentation I managed to forget a lot of what I wanted to say. So for the next presentation I practised it a lot, from writing out a rough script to reading out loud as many times as possible before the presentation. It helped me to get more confident before the presentation because I knew what I wanted to say.

    While doing the presentation it might help to focus on looking at people you know. It might help calm nerves looking at a friendly face
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