How Do You Overcome Stage Fright? These 6 Tips Can Help

“The retirement planning firm I work for has just begun holding seminars where various strategies are discussed with an audience of, usually, around 50 people. My problem is stage fright. I’ve been reading your columns for years and know that you are a trial lawyer, did some research and found several articles in the ABA Banking Journal on presentation skills — including overcoming stage fright — by a Dennis Beaver. Is that you? Any advice or books on public speaking you can recommend will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, ‘Gary.’”Yes, That’s Me

Prior to attending law school, I had planned on becoming a college speech teacher and did bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech/communications. After becoming a trial lawyer, I put those degrees to work, teaching speech at our community college and, for many years, presentation skills to bankers at the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison every August.

A week prior to the August session, I phoned each banker in my class, learning why they were taking a course in public speaking and what specific problems they needed addressed. Among other issues, many reported they had a problem with stage fright! In order to advance professionally, they had to become better speakers. Our class gave them the tools.Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

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Heartbreak after student dies of meningitis

Ade Gibbs, 19, an A-level student at Peter Symonds College in Winchester, died of meningococcal meningitis after the virus had struck without warning.

Yvette Carrous-Gibbs said only hours before his death last Thursday he had returned home from a trip to London with friends, complaining of feeling unwell.

He had collapsed later that night and been rushed by ambulance to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester. Medical staff fought to save him but he died at about 5am.

Yvette, 41, said Ade had slipped into and out of consciousness: “I told him that I was sorry that I thought he had been taking drugs. He never did.

“He said: ‘I’m very happy I had you as a mum, my sister and my dad.’ He asked ‘Can I have a hug? I’m scared.’ “They took him into intensive care and I started screaming. I was praying and praying and praying. Then they came out and said: ‘Sorry, we couldn’t save him.”

Ade, who had moved to live with his mother in Winchester in 2004 was formerly a pupil at Perins secondary school in Alresford. He was studying biology, chemistry and psychology at A-level and was due to sit the exams this summer.

Peter Symonds College principal Neil Hopkins said: “I’m sure the staff and students will join me in expressing our sorrow and sympathy for the family and friends of Ade.”

College friends are holding a fundraising event at the White House bar in Above Bar, Southampton at 9pm on Friday. Entrance is £5 and all proceeds will go to the family. It will be for over-18s only.

The funeral details are to be confirmed.

Britain’s golden girl! How Heptathlon star Katarina Johnson-Thompson has overcome injury and heartbreak following the death of her father to win the World Championships – as …

When Katarina Johnson-Thompson regained podium glory with her heptathlon gold medal at the World Championships, she declared it the ‘best day of [her] life’.

‘I’ve committed to getting my heart broken again but this time I didn’t,’ she said after being crowned (quite literally) in Budapest, Hungary – referring to years of heartbreak in her professional career following the rupture in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, plus a calf injury to boot.

However, the 30-year-old Liverpudlian athlete has also suffered tragedy in her personal life, after her father Ricky passed away from a heart attack in 2017. 

Katarina has previously spoken of how the pain of his death at just 59 years old has spurred her on – and she also has the support of her close friends including a very famous face in Jodie Comer (who yesterday hailed her as a ‘champ’ on Instagram), plus her boyfriend Andrew Pozzi, a fellow Team GB athlete.

‘I just thought I’d fade into the background and just be one of those athletes who’s just there to make up the numbers and it’s just the last thing I wanted,’ the gold medalist said yesterday – but after a few years in the wilderness, her star is on the rise once more.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who hails from Woolton, Liverpool, won gold in the heptathlon at the World Championships in Budapest on Sunday

Katarina was born and raised in Woolton, Liverpool, to Ricky and her professional dancer mother, Tracey.

Her parents moved to the Bahamas after Katarina was born, but when work dried up for Tracey, she returned to the UK and took Katarina with her while Ricky remained on the island of New Providence.

Despite the distance between father and daughter, they remained close, and Ricky revealed before his untimely death that he sent money to Tracey and Katarina in the UK every month when he got paid. 

‘I’d take trips there every time I got vacation from work,’ he told the Mail on Sunday in 2015. She and Tracey would fly over here. It was so important for me to keep those ties. Katarina is my only child – she’s the light of my life.’ 

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