I didn't realize I had a fear of public speaking until my first year of college. I was required to give a presentation to a small group and was very confident leading up to it. When I started to speak I noticed I was sweaty and shaking. My voice started to quiver and it was difficult to breath. Somehow I finished the presentation, which was only about 5 minutes, and my classmates told me I had done well, but I was traumatized. This became the norm throughout college where I would even not show up for some presentations even though it meant losing losing marks. I went to a hypnotherapist and found that an event as a young child where I had forgotten a dancing routine and had been embarrassed in front of my school and caused me to view public speaking in a very negative way. Throughout high school I was interested in debating but never took part, which I put down to laziness. I now realize that I had been avoiding speaking in front of people because of fear. Now I am in graduate school and I still have a fear of public speaking. I have joined a debating team in the hope that some exposure will help me manage my fear. I have also tried Neuro-linguistic-programming and a number of self help books, but have not had any success. I am hoping that I will be able to overcome this fear before I join the workforce because I believe it may seriously hinder my prospects.