Did you know that about 25% of people claim to experience a fear of public speaking? Whether it’s speaking at a ceremony, giving a presentation at a conference or speaking in front of a class, public speaking can result in stomach butterflies for even the most outgoing people.
Discussing your ideas with 20 or more classmates staring at you can be a nerve-wracking experience. Believe it or not, you can get through it and even improve your skills over time. Check out these tips that can help you survive speaking in front of your class.
One of the main challenges people face when public speaking is the fear of getting nervous and losing their place. You can minimize this risk by making early preparations that will help you keep track of all your points. Try creating notecards or slides or practicing in front of friends. If you do forget something, don’t panic. Move on and try to come back to it later.
Use Humor and Anecdotes
It’s okay to sprinkle in a story or a bit of humor to break the ice and connect with your audience, but moderation is important. You don’t want to fill your presentation or lesson with jokes and asides, but you do want to make your points in a way that impacts your class. Feel free to surprise them every once in a while — within reason.
Remember Anxiousness Is Normal
If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed or anxious before speaking, keep in mind that this is common and nothing to feel ashamed of. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself you’ll survive. And even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, you’ll feel much better once it’s over.
Practice, Practice, Practice
As challenging as it can be, the only way to improve at public speaking is to practice. Practicing your skills often can help you find the tactics that work best for you. Each time you speak in front of your class, it’ll become a little easier. You may or may not continue to feel some nervousness beforehand, but experience can protect you from some of the more overwhelming emotions that come along with it.
Use previous public speaking experiences to your advantage by using suggestions or feedback improve your techniques. It can be hard to take criticism, but it’s often the most powerful way to make changes for the better. Implementing feedback may help you become more confident talking to your class, which can help you engage more.
Speaking in front of a room full of people is an understandable fear, but it doesn’t have to hold you back from success in the classroom. Use these tips before your next presentation, and you might do more than survive it. You may also nail it.
~Here’s to Your Success~
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