If you are uncomfortable getting up in front of a group, you must take steps to overcome your fear. The most significant percentage of the testing process is the interview, and ultimately a large part of the job deals with public speaking! You won’t talk a fire out, but you will talk to different groups about how to prevent them. If you can present yourself well in an interview, you are leaps and bounds ahead of the others who can’t.
Even if the other candidates have more experience than you, the job will usually be awarded to the candidate who can present him or herself in a clear and concise manner.
If public speaking is your downfall, it is imperative to join Toastmasters (a public speaking club) or take some courses at your community college. A speech and debate class is an excellent way to get over the jitters. Acting or drama classes can also be a unique way to feel more comfortable in front of a group.
Teaching others can also help you learn to think on your feet. Whether you are teaching CPR and First Aid or your local Sunday school class, it will help you learn to present information clearly and field questions. A typical interview question might be, “What do you consider a weakness about yourself?” Your answer could be, “I used to feel uncomfortable getting up and speaking in front of a group. I knew this was a vital part of my chosen vocation. I took several classes at my community college to help improve my comfort level. Since then I feel much more confident in my ability to speak in public.” Now that’s turning a negative into a positive!