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Fears are normal and a fear of public speaking is often referred to as the #1 phobia in the U.S. Are your knees knocking when you have to give an oral report? Does your voice shake? Do you start to sweat?

I got to interview third grader Mary Moss Wirt, a young student who recently gave a presentation at Discovery Education headquarters about the importance of using technology and digital media to reach kids in her generation. She had a global audience, including principals, teachers, and government officials. Mary conquered her nerves with a few simple tips and thinks you can, too. Here are some excerpts from our chat:

JE: Tell me about your presentation.
Mary: It was very exciting. I feel like “the bigger the better” when it comes to the crowd. I’d rather talk to a huge audience than a small group.

JE: How did you prepare?
Mary: Well, I have already given this talk three times. This one was the big one, because I got to speak in front of superintendents, principals, and teachers.

JE: You gave this presentation in DC. What are some favorite moments from the trip?
Mary: My favorite part of the trip was the flight, because it was my first time on an airplane. And the best museum we visited was the Museum of Natural History.

Watch Mary’s presentation here.

MARY’S TOP 3 TIPS FOR A GOOD SPEECH
1. If you’re worried or scared, just breathe! Tell yourself: there’s nothing to worry about.
2. Think about how you want to present: I like to hold a handheld microphone, instead of having a microphone stand or having one clipped to my shirt. I feel more comfortable holding onto the microphone.
3. If you think you mess up during the speech, repeat your point or just stop… and then pick up from where you stopped.

Thanks for the tips, Mary!



  1. Daniel (Reply) on Monday 29, 2013

    THANXS IT TOTALLY WORKS . NOW I GOT OVER MY FEAR OF STANDING IN FRONT OF
    A CROWD

  2. Wray Wray (Reply) on Monday 29, 2013

    Mary Moss is pretty amazing. Not only is she down to earth, she’s just cool!