Great advice here, George. I hated public speaking with a passion, but had to overcome my great fear because I was called on to speak so often. I would write the entire speech out first, but since i have a terrible time memorizing, I’d be sure to include a lot of stories which didn’t require memorization. To overcome stage fright, I said something funny at the beginning since laughter calmed me down. And I never, ever took the speech to the state with me; just a few outline notes on an index card to joggle my memory. People always said Great speech, You’re a natural! They couldn’t see my pounding heart.