It’s easy to forget, or not get at all, how intimidating it can be to take the first step into public speaking, and more than that, how devastating it can be if that first effort goes badly. I’ve long been an advocate of providing some coaching or training to first timers. If you’re going to do something new doesn’t it make sense to have a coach early on? We can give out tips and make suggestions, but nothing beats having a coach (who can be someone who has done it at least once successfully) give direction and feedback. For some even that is too much, stage fright over powers desire to grow. One option is to let them continue in life and return to the idea when they are ready – forcing it is not without risks. Another option is to invite someone to join you up front. Let them help you set up, click the next button on the slide, play a video, maybe even step through a demo while you narrate. It’s a powerful experience being on the speaker side of the room. It’s a way to let them see how it feels without going all in.
I mention that in particular as many of you are submitting sessions for the 2015 PASS Summit. Think about how you could work with a first time speaker at the event to make your presentation better and to show them the fun (and work) that goes into speaking.