iamkatemcg - 5:09 pm on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)
Did the speech and debate thing in high school, was pretty good at it.
Agreed that the main key is practice, practice, practice. Practice with things that don't have any relation to what you need to speak about (maybe take an hour each week to craft and deliver a speech about a news topic that interests you). Also, make sure your speech has structure and a point. Example:
II. Point/Main Idea
III. Supporting Evidence
a. supporting point 1
b. supporting point 2
c. supporting point 3
IV. Restate your main idea
Now, that's a REALLY rough outline, but it will provide a good outline to get you started on most any speech. To paraphrase someone above, once you get over the fear, the next problem is knowing when to shut up.
You'll know you're good when you can watch a videotape of yourself speaking and not be embarrassed. You'll know you're great when you want to share that video with friends/family/Facebook.