Public speaking for normal people

Jason Freedman:

I just gave a presentation on 42Floors to 150 people. It went well. I was really proud of: 1) our team, 2) our product and 3) the way we were able to present it. It was as if we were telling people about it in our living room, but there just happened to be 150 people there. Afterwards, several people told me that it felt like it was a very polished presentation. But the reality is we didn’t practice at all. In fact, three minutes before we went on stage, my co-founder turned to me and said, “Jason, we really should’ve practiced.” I said, “Nah, don’t worry. We’ll be fine.” And we winged it, and it came off ever so naturally.
Before I pat myself on the back too much, let me tell you how I felt inside. Thirty seconds before I was supposed to go on, I was standing there on the side and all of a sudden my heartbeat went from normal to racing like I was in the middle of marathon. Uggghhh. I hate it when this happens. It’s kind of like how you feel when you blush: you’re reminded how little control you have over your own body. For a brief moment, I was upset with my body for reacting this way. I was upset with myself for reacting this way, actually. I should be more confident than this.