To discuss the fears surrounding public speaking (particularly speaking in class). To provide tips to help alleviate the fear of speaking in front of classmates.
This packet is designed to help students struggling with the fear of speaking in front of their classmates. This packet provides tips on how to alleviate that anxiety.
For some students, the idea of getting up in front of our peers and class-mates is nerve wracking and scary. The idea of stuttering or stammering, sweating or mispronouncing a word makes you anxious. Many students have this fear! The fear of speaking in public is one of the worst, and most common fears, people have.
So, you might be wondering:
1. "Why am I so afraid of getting in front of my class?"
2. "How can I get over it?"
3. "How can I speak with confidence?"
First: What are you afraid of?
One reason students get so nervous speaking in front of their peers is that they have a fear of being judged by, or looking silly in front of them. Another fear is that you may forget everything you prepared, begin to blush, sweat, etc. The idea of being humiliated or embarrassed is what causes your fear.
Tips to overcome your fear(s):
Know your subject matter: If you are going to present something or speak in front of your peers, be sure to know the subject matter well. Chances are you will be presenting or talking about something you have been studying in class. This will give you the base you need to answer the questions of students who don't grasp the concept as well as you do, or have additional questions about your topic. However, just because you may have studied your topic in class doesn't mean you don't have to do additional work! You should always prepare as though there is going to be an expert in the class. Knowing the topic and best you can will help give you confidence.
Know what you are going to say: You don't need to memorize a speech word-for-word, but you shouldn't get up in front of the class and "wing" your presentation. Write out what you want to say, and practice reading it out loud a few times. Bring your notes up with you when you present, or a note-card with the points you want to make. The more you practice what you want to say, the more confident you will feel on the day of your presentation.
Stay calm in front of your audience: Try to remember that these are you peers. They will all have to give presentations too. Think about your teacher. S/he doesn't get nervous in front of the class, so there is no need for you to get nervous either. Think of yourself in the teacher role - you are sharing valuable information with the class! Practice is extremely important. The more you give a talk, the more automatic it becomes, the more meat it can have and the more confidence you have in your abilities to give the speech.
Practice alone, Practice in front of small groups or friends. Practice.