GTCC helping people overcome fear of public speaking

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For 25 years, Janice Jeffries has been helping the shy and terrified overcome one of their biggest fears — public speaking.

“The problem with public speaking is we’re afraid of what everybody is going to think about us,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries teaches “Public Speaking for the Shy & Terrified” and “Public Speaking Too” at Guilford Technical Community College.

Jeffries has worked with people who legitimately suffer from glossophobia — the fear of public speaking — to others who want to come out of their comfort zone at work.

“I never wanted to stand up and talk during board meetings especially if there were high level executives,” Stephanie Lee said.

Lee is a project manager with a well-known pharmaceutical and health care company.

Speaking in front of people for presentations is a big part of her job.

She took both public speaking courses and says they helped her with rambling and also taught her how to use humor.

“That confidence level every time I get on the platform gets bigger and no more doubt and fear in myself,” she said.

Wanda Brown-Ramseur took the “Public Speaking Too” course.

She also feels a new sense of confidence and says the class helped her with making eye contact and controlling her hand gestures.

“And when I speak I can just see people’s heads going back and forth and they’re actually following my hands. The class just helped me develop a more professional presentation,” she said.

“Public Speaking Too” begins July 12. “Public Speaking for the Shy & Terrified” begins Sept. 6.

Visit conedreg.gtcc.edu and type “public speaking” to see a full list of courses and times.

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