How can I avoid being a wreck before giving my speech?

Question: I got a good feeling from when I landed a good speech from the one class I took [in college]. But that had more to do with landing a [good] grade. I was a wreck before I had [to give my speech]. Kinda not worth it.

Answer: Yeah, the pre-game used to be a nightmare for me too. I’d totally lose sleep. My pre-game solution is literally knowing I’m prepared, and changing my inner thoughts to “I’ve been invited to speak.” This actually works for me.

How do I cut the ums and ahs when I'm speaking?
Force yourself to be silent. It takes practice, but it’s worth it.
When you lose your train of thought, how do you get it back?
Try repeating what you said before you lost your train-of-thought. This technique has worked for me. Also, there’s a section during a Toastmasters meeting called Table Topics that forces you to come up with an off-the-cuff answer to a surprise question. I’ve found this experience to be very helpful when I’ve gotten off track in the real world.
What's the best way to launch a speaking career?

Question: What’s the best way to launch a speaking career? I’ve done many presentations to professional groups, expert panels and a few conventions but I’ve never been paid.

Answer: I’m gonna recommend looking up Patricia Fripp. Also look at Darren LaCroix’s site Get Paid to Speak. He’s the 2001 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking, so I follow everything he says.

Would teaching a dance class be a form of public speaking?

50/50. Since I’ve taught dance classes before, I’d view it as a hands-on workshop where you’re both the speaker and the guide. But it’s def 100% up to you to as the speaker to know what order you’re going to present/demo dance moves, who you’re going to call on, keeping activities moving along, and keeping the whole room entertained.