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  • Academy Valedictorian

    Im not real sure where I should post this, so sorry in advance if it doesn't belong here, and I"ll try and keep it as short as possible. I am currently just finishing up the fire academy here in Odessa, Texas and was named valedictorian of my class. I busted my a** in the academy, both physically and educationally, so I am VERY proud of that and it means a lot to me. We graduate this coming Saturday and being that I'm valedictorian I am required to give a speech, which I'm terrified of. I hate public speaking. I'm not so much a shy guy, but speaking publicly makes me extremely nervous. I get so shaky/twitchy and seem to just freeze up, I swear I have anxiety giving speeches. Fellow classmates and their families being there makes me nervous enough, not to mention there will be instructors there that are also veteran firefighters I will soon work with. If I screw up, they'll give me so much sh*t about it when I get hired lol. My instructor told me to talk about what I gained from the class, working with my classmates, where I want to go with my fire certification etc. I can come up with things to say about those fairly easy, but telling them to an audience is a nightmare for me. Does anyone have any ideas to calm my nerves and help me get through this speech? Any feedback is appreciated.

  • #2
    Talking before an audience can be a scary thing - some tips -

    Practice in front of family/friends first - go over the speech until you know it liek the back of your hand. Not having to refer to notes will help.

    When you do give the speech, there are a couple of things you can do - make eye contact - this makes it more of a 'one on one' talk - you can pick out different people as you talk - maybe having friends in teh audience in different area (if it can be arranged) it will look like you are talking to the audience and not over them. If you pick a spot above the audience to look at, that isn't good, it makes it look like you aren't connecting with the audience.

    When I get up in front of a group, I always try to make eye contact with as many people as possible. This goes for a group of 10 vs a group of 80...doesn't matter....

    You can also practice in front of a mirror, do it while out and about - people might think you are crazy talking to yourself, but it can help getting over the nervousness.....

    Good luck and congratulations!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by NOTevenArookieYET View Post
      Does anyone have any ideas to calm my nerves and help me get through this speech? Any feedback is appreciated.
      Wear pants and avoid cuss words.
      I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

      "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

      "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
        Wear pants and avoid cuss words.
        I forgot - imagine everyone else in their skivvies......

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        • #5
          Don't try to be too funny.
          Alot of efforts at humor fail miserably unless you are
          (a)really funny naturally or
          (b)have lot's of practice and good writers.
          Just keep it short and simple, say thanks alot, and get off the stage.

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          • #6
            Thanks everyone, for the input, guess I have some practicing to do. Nice advice, appreciate it.

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            • #7
              Write it out and read from the paper if you need to

              That way you do not have to try to memorize it

              You will do good and gives you practice because every run you make you will need to talk
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

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              • #8
                A Valedictorian from the fire academy?

                Never heard of such.


                Take a shower using soap and hot water, use deodorant and not too tight trousers.


                Get you a larger size bottle of water. Pour 1/3 of it out and put some vodka in to replace the removed water. Take a few sips now and then to keep your mouth moist and by the time you finish the speech, you will be just fine!
                Stay Safe and Well Out There....

                Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by fire49 View Post
                  Write it out and read from the paper if you need to

                  That way you do not have to try to memorize it

                  You will do good and gives you practice because every run you make you will need to talk
                  ya I'll do that, and talking to people on runs doesn't bother me, its just standing in front of an audience, but I guess I'll get through it lol

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
                    A Valedictorian from the fire academy?

                    Never heard of such.


                    Take a shower using soap and hot water, use deodorant and not too tight trousers.


                    Get you a larger size bottle of water. Pour 1/3 of it out and put some vodka in to replace the removed water. Take a few sips now and then to keep your mouth moist and by the time you finish the speech, you will be just fine!
                    haha, I quit drinking back in June, but the thought of having a few shots of vodka before the speech actually came to mind, but naaa I better not ha

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                    • #11
                      Get up there Pal and say your words. Look at the back of the room and keep your eyes moving around at the back and not on the other folks.

                      If they have the recruits on the front row, you can look at them since you've been around them for sometime.

                      I think COT was kidding you some. It was funny.

                      Get use to it as the kitchen table is full of kidders and jokesters!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jonnee View Post
                        Get up there Pal and say your words. Look at the back of the room and keep your eyes moving around at the back and not on the other folks.

                        If they have the recruits on the front row, you can look at them since you've been around them for sometime.

                        I think COT was kidding you some. It was funny.

                        Get use to it as the kitchen table is full of kidders and jokesters!!
                        Thanks thats a good idea, and ya I believe he was too, it was a nice one ha.

                        Yes our dept. here loves pranking and joking with the rookies. I hear all about it from my roommate thats a rookie. They do some funny stuff.

                        Comment

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