Oral presentations

I give one tomorrow and I was hoping if anyone would have any tips for me…?

It’s for my english class, all by me onesies, and I am terrified. I’ve never presented formally before (I usually find a way to worm out of it), I hate being the center of attention, and when I’m nervous I start to stammer and with my accent thickening every thing up, it’s even worse.

Yes, it’s kind of silly, to be so uptight over a little thing, but I’m speaking about a significant moment in my life (something I hate to talk about in front of 30 people I couldn’t care less about) and it HAS to be between 3-4 minutes long or else we start losing 25% of our mark and higher. So the pressure is on as well.

Can anyone tell me ways to not be nervous? Or if this is normal? I can’t imagine presenting in front of more than 15 people, if it were more than 30 as it is now, I’d pass out. I’m silly like that, I’m just not a public speaker and I’m terrible at it.

Please please someone gimme some public speaking tips ;_;

If you know your topic well, just pick a spot on the back of the class that makes you look like you’re looking at your audience and talk :stuck_out_tongue: These things only get easier with practice. I used to be really bad about them too (and I mean really terrible) but I’ve improved for each time I did one.

Sprinkle a joke or two in, laughter tends to loosen me up.

Nervousism comes when you think about the audience. Focus only on your speech and forget about the people in front of you.

Try to speak clearly and look at your audience, it’s frightening yes, but it’ll make you look better :slight_smile:

I have to make eye contact with everyone or else I’ll lose points. What sucks hardcore is the fact that every student will be evaluating me, and that average gets avaerged with the teacher’s mark :\ And I am horribly unfunny. Standing up in front of everyone, I can hardly smile and tell my body to loosen up, let along crack a good joke or two sighs But I’ll try to keep everything in mind. my presentation got pushed back a day, so my anxiety is being prolonged again. I hate making big deals out of school, it’s so nerve wracking.

Try rehearsing what you’re going to say in front of a mirror. People might think you’ve started to go crazy but it can really help. What you’re saying starts to become autmatic, which is good if you get nervous in front of crowds. If you practice enough, it’ll eventually become natural. And just remember, the people that you’re talking to are having to go through the exact same thing, and are probably feeling just as nervous as you are so nobody’s going to laugh at you or anything.

Imagine the audience naked. *Nod, nod.

Seriously, I don’t think there is a lot you can do about nervousness but face it. Stand there and say the things you are supposed to say, and promise yourself that afterwards you will go and buy yourself a treat. Just keep thinking about the treat.

How large is your class?

Originally posted by Nulani
Imagine the audience naked. *Nod, nod.

Funny, my mom said the exact same thing. But I’d get myself into a huge giggling fit whilst pointing at certain individuals and screeching childishly “Ewwww!!”

ahem

My class is roughly 30 people, not a lot, I know, but when it’s your first time doing public activities generally, one is bound to be nervous, though probably not to the extent that I am. it’s having everyone look at you, and the fear of messing up or slurring or not being understood, eek. Afterwards, my presentation will be critiqued, which I am terrified about, I don’t respond to critisism well (it generally lowers my self esteem even if I know they’re right). But I just keep telling myself that everyone else was probably in the same boat and embarrassed as much as I.

Yeah, I don’t think I’ll become much of a leader in business and in life when I get older.

Well, the easiest way to make eye contact is to just scan peoples foreheads or just let your eyes glaze over and focus on the back of the room. Once you get started let your mouth do it’s job and don’t think thinking is very bad when you give a speech because your mind points out every mistake and tryes to screw you up. It’s normal to be nervous, but just tell yourself that everyone else has to do it so they can’t be looking down on you. Also, trust me you are only the center of attention in your own mind and the teachers. The rest of the class dosen’t care about you being up there. The students in the class also will have tact, trust me on this, I was in a speech class woth all the bullies/morons/football players in the school and they had the decency to not make fun of anyone that presented and usually compimented peoples speeches if they were paying attention.

Yeah that’s a good way of looking at it. I practiced with my mom and I never knew 6 minutes could go by so fast. Obviously I have to trim down what I have to say, but wow.

Oh and the students are so frigging picky about the eye contact thing, one girl was even stated as giving “fake” eye contact (probably the kind you described)

At least you don’t have to do it on the direct, with no notes and anything. Always know that it could have been much worse.

Another good point, though next year it’s a dramatic monologue without any notes. I should count my blessings this year. I can just see myself reciting Shakespear now cringe

You’ve probably already given your speech, and I hope you did well, but here’s some things to consider for the future:

-Try taking opportunities to speak in front of groups. I had bad stage fright when I was in high school, and I ended up having to take a drama class. The first couple times we had to speak in front of the group, I spent most of the morning beforehand scared out of my mind with butterflies larger than anything. After several times of having to speak in front of people, I gradually became accustomed to it. The more you do it, the better you tend to feel about it. Try not to worm your way out of giving speeches, especially if the opportunity arises to do so without being graded.

-When you’re giving a presentation on something, chances are good you know a lot more about the subject than anyone else. Whether it’s something you’ve researched or a book you’ve read, you’ve put a lot more work into it than anyone else in the class and know it a lot better. Pretend when you go to make the presentation that you’re some expert on the subject. I once had to give a speech on my research report on World War II; when I went to give it, in my mind I pretended I was a guest lecturer for the class who was an expert on World War II. It actually helped keep me somewhat calm and with that sense of command. I don’t know how well it might work for you, but maybe it’s worth a shot.

Don’t say um… uh… or er… that ruins the speech.

Originally posted by Striker44
[b]You’ve probably already given your speech, and I hope you did well, but here’s some things to consider for the future:

-Try taking opportunities to speak in front of groups. I had bad stage fright when I was in high school, and I ended up having to take a drama class. The first couple times we had to speak in front of the group, I spent most of the morning beforehand scared out of my mind with butterflies larger than anything. After several times of having to speak in front of people, I gradually became accustomed to it. The more you do it, the better you tend to feel about it. Try not to worm your way out of giving speeches, especially if the opportunity arises to do so without being graded.

-When you’re giving a presentation on something, chances are good you know a lot more about the subject than anyone else. Whether it’s something you’ve researched or a book you’ve read, you’ve put a lot more work into it than anyone else in the class and know it a lot better. Pretend when you go to make the presentation that you’re some expert on the subject. I once had to give a speech on my research report on World War II; when I went to give it, in my mind I pretended I was a guest lecturer for the class who was an expert on World War II. It actually helped keep me somewhat calm and with that sense of command. I don’t know how well it might work for you, but maybe it’s worth a shot. [/b]

Yeah, I did it, 13/15 by grade 11 standards. The average mark the students gave me was a 12, which is good for me. Yes, ever since Wednesday I’ve actually volunteered answers in class, something which I was terrified of doing before o.O I mainly got persecuted because I was really quiet when I spoke. So yeah I’ve discovered that it’s all downhill from here, though I have a long long ways to go before I’m not public shy.

And Alyx, I can’t help it :stuck_out_tongue: I never realized how hard it is to not say um, ah or and a lot. Crazy.

Also, for the future, don’t keep thinking that the students are hanging on your every word. They’re not. 95% of high school students don’t give a flying fuck about when another student is presenting, so they either won’t pay attention, or won’t care.

The time always passes by much quicker for the speaker than the audience, so even if you hate speaking, the “pain” will only be short lived, followed by a long period of relief.