Was just speaking to my supervisor (who is deathly ill, has an ear infection, and is climbing on a plane tomorrow to go give a talk a huge conference, then flying to Argentina - while concurrently attempting to direct the renovation of her bathroom and supervise a PhD student who's finishing next week). She's got her talk nearly written and gave me some advice about talking in front of people.
She says she always makes sure she has the first and last sentences written, and delivers them exactly. She ad-libs the middle, but this way the beginning (when you're nervous) is always okay, and the end (when you're running late) is concise. Sounds like good advice to me.
She also said that when you're speaking in front of scary people, you have to remember what really matters (aka the "Apple Pie Trick"). She's been told she makes the best apple pie in the world, which is what she remembers whenever she's up there at the podium: people might heckle, but they probably can't make apple pie nearly as well - so who cares what they think? :P
Sounds dumb but have a feeling it might work for me! Will road-test this next time. Anything that will help me convince myself it's not important seems to automatically make me do better at anything nerve-wracking, like public speaking or interviews.
in other news: Madge has sent me some brain pictures with boggly eyes! Thanks Madge! Creepy, eh? The section has been taken right through the eyeball! SO COOL.