Overcoming the Anxiety of Giving a Presentation


Why is giving a presentation so stressful? Is your heart supposed to race? And how do you gain more confidence? This episode explores:

  • How to feel more connected to your audience.
  • Why feeling some “stage-fright” might be a good thing.
  • What your audience needs from you.
  • How to use tools to “break the ice” like asking your listeners a great question.
  • A discussion of the article “How to Cope with Presentation Anxiety,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education, by Dr. James M. Lang

Our guest is: Dr. James M. Lang, who is the author of six books, writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education, and edits a series of books on teaching and learning in higher education for West Virginia University Press. A former Professor of English and Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption University, he stepped down from full-time academic work in 2021 to concentrate on his writing and teaching and public speaking. He has consulted with the United Nations on a multi-year project to develop teaching materials in ethics and integrity for high school and college faculty, and is the recipient of a 2016 Fulbright Specialist Grant, and the 2019 Paul Ziegler Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship. Jim and his wife formed the Lang Family Foundation, which provides grants to non-profit organizations dedicated to the alleviation of poverty and homelessness, support for the environment and the arts, and funding for libraries and public education. Recent grant recipients include the INTERFAITH HOSPITALITY NETWORK OF GREATER WORCESTER, a shelter for families with children; the WORCESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION; and ABBY’S HOUSE, a shelter for women in need of support services.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women and gender.

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Welcome to The Academic Life! Join us each week, where we learn directly from experts. We embrace the broad definition of what it means to lead an academic life, and are informed and inspired by today’s knowledge-producers working inside and outside the academy.

Your Host

Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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