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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have to take a required speech class this semester at the college I go to... I am really scared because I am not good at talking in front of people and having eye contact with everyone.When I have to talk in front of a lot of people, I become stiff and monotone. I begin to talk really fast and I find it hard to breathe.

These are the requirements from the syllabus:

• Don't read to us. Don't memorize your speech. Try to sound conversational and relaxed; not excessively casual but not overly formal.

• Maintain good eye contact with your entire audience.

You will be evaluated in regards to:
• vocal delivery

• physical delivery (body language, posture, eye contact, appearance)

So, how was your speech class? How did you deal with it?
 

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been there done that

Yeah that sucks lol Well my situation is very similiar to yours - in a college class, had about 30 people all staring at me except 3 sheets were given to students to evaluate me as well as the teacher herself which sucked but it didnt bother me too much until i got to read their evaluations :-/ in my class we picked a topic we were passionate about so i picked britney spears who i adore, mine was very long, my voice was shakey and i sounded like a boring robot on steroids lol it was pretty scary, i barely made eye contact but i geuss i made up for it with a photo slide and well... failed humour which i think the teacher was laughing at me not with me :-/ but hey she was grading me, as long as she found it funny right. I also had to introduce myself and my topic but i was really nervous and barely lifted my head once, i was sweating a fair bit too. But the point im making here is that i survived and public speaking is not for everyone even the most loudest of people, i geuss my advice is give it a go and practice, practice, practice in front of a mirror and people eg. Your friends or family. Also when introducing yourself never tell the audience your nervous i dunno why but thats what my teacher said.

Hope this helps!! Good luck!!
 

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I didn't do so well, barely passed with a C!

But at least I got through it. People were making comments like, "too quiet, speak up more, make eye contact, couldn't understand you, shaky voice, shaky body language, just relax!, etc.)

Well, some of these people shouldn't have been in a public speaking class! They had NO anxiety at all!
 

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I took my required Speech course in the summer semester - so it was over in 3 weeks. (Thank God). It wasn't that bad actually even though I was dreading it. We were able to pick topics that interested us. It was only 5-7 minutes long for each speech. I felt so relieved when one speech was done - "Okay - 1 down - 2 to go!" You have no idea how good it felt to sit down after the third one & know that it was all over.

The teacher had a habit of going over everyone's speech afterwards however. He would look at his notes & critique everyone in front of the class. It was hard to take because you never knew what he was gonna say. But - I understood the need - he needed to point out things to the class so no one would make the same mistake. OR - he would point out something good so other kids could replicate.

Overall - horrifying - but fun - but I'm so relieved it's over.

I did also notice that many kids that I thought wouldn't be nervous appeared much more nervous that myself! I think that's good to remember - EVERYONE is nervous. Some even more so than you! (Even though that's hard to believe.)
 

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Didn't have a speech class persay, but there are class participation components, which require me to stand and talk in front of my class. Here's my two cents.

First thing, you are allowed to pause, take a deep breath if you have to. Do light stretches, ease the tension in your muscles if need be. Don't rush your speech, you'll find
that if you talk too fast, you will get drained, and the more drained you are the worse you will sound, combine that with anxiety and disaster ensues.

Secondly, you might want to think of it this way, you are presenting a speech for a grade to unbaised audience (your teachers, lecturers etc), anyone else is immaterial. Think "I will maximize my marks, that is my main concern, I practised for this, I'm not going to screw it up, its the teachers mark I want not my class mates" Remember teachers will not judge you and are very understanding, its their job.

You may also want to practice your speech alone, or in front of people you trust/close with etc. If this proves to be impossible try playing a video on TV/Computer and talk infront of that. Remember IT CANNOT judge you.

Dunno if that very bizarre way of thinking will help for you, but it sure helps me, I don't stutter in my speeches, and any long pauses I make, is a consequence of me not studying my material enough, and not as a result of talking class! So practice and you'll do fine!
 

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Ahh well, in that case, I have no clue unfortunately, that kind of marking system is a little strange in my experiences haha. I've had peer evaluations before, but my tutor doesn't even look at them, (it's used as self comparative measure I guess) All I can suggest in that case is to prepare as best one can and accept whatever comes. Some people will be jerks, some won't take it seriously and give random marks etc. I think most people however will be fair, focus on that.
 

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Speech ended up being one of my favorite courses. I ended up getting an A. Nearly everyone was nervous and so speech classes tend to end up being very supportive and understanding.

I see the syllabus says don't memorize your speech but that's really what made me feel at ease up there. Knowing exactly what and how you're gonna say it before you get up there helps.
 

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Have you been treated for anxiety? No need to answer, but if you have, you might want to consider taking documentation of said treatment to the disability services office at your school. Special accommodations could be made for you. In my case, I was allowed to deliver my speeches to my professor alone - no other students in the audience. It was still stressful as hell, but way better than it could've been. Solutions and policies will vary from school to school, but it might be something worth pursuing.

That might not be a route you want to take (and indeed, there IS something to be said for conquering speech class the same way everyone else does), but I strongly suggest - at the very least - taking your concerns to your professor before the course starts. It'll at least make them aware of you, might be something they'll take into consideration while grading you. Emailing my professor immediately after registering for the class and laying out all my fears to her was the best thing I could've done.

Maybe most importantly, though, is to remember that you are not alone! Just about everyone gets nervous when they have to speak in front of others, SA or not. No one in the class is going to judge you harshly if you appear outwardly nervous, because everyone will be in the same boat as you. While I gave my speeches in private, I still had to come to class every day and observe other people's speeches. And I noticed that a real sense of camaraderie and encouragement developed amongst my classmates - moreso than in the average college class. Speech class isn't fun for anyone, so it seems like people do what they can to help each other through it. That was my experience, at the very least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for taking the time out to reply to my post! I have ready every single one of them, and they were very helpful! I'm just going to try to do my best this semester, hopefully it won't be too bad :)
 

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Man, I know what you're going through. Had it years ago but I'll never forget it. I noticed, everyone hates speech class lol. It's the most empathetic environment I've ever seen, because everyone roots for everyone else to do well. There was a real sense of "We're all in this together," even for those who didn't like one another outside of class.
 

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I have to take a speech course this semester. I start classes on Monday. I'm absolutely terrified of it because it'll be one of my first ever real college classes, and public speaking is so hard for me too. I gradually got better in high school because I knew the people I was speaking in front of. Now I have to speak in front of a bunch of potentially judging strangers again...

It also doesn't help my nerves that I'm forced to take the Honors speech class. I guess you could argue it's better because the class will be a lot smaller, but it will also be a lot more demanding. Instead of just trying to get through a whole class full of speeches, the prof only has to grade a smaller class so he/she can be more critical of them...
 

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I failed speech class 4 times in HS because I wouldn't talk, then I had to take it in college, and I CLEP'd out of it.
 

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I hated every minute of that class in college. I was very nervous and I can hear classmates whispering to each other about my shaking hands. I have essential familial tremors and they become worse when I am nervous. That class made me real depressed. I luckily ended up with a C. Never had to take another speech class again. That is one reason I never went on to get a Masters due to I would never be able to present a Thesis in front of others. This is why I am stuck working as a glorified secretary for a Psychologist. Can't really go on any further in this field unless I get a Masters.
 

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Toastmasters!!

Join a local Toastmasters club near you. There are tons of these clubs all over the world. These are clubs, usually small in size, where people get together once a week and practice giving speeches. By the time you give your speech for your class, you will be very well prepared and it will be no big deal.

In my opinion, this is the best thing you can do.
 

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I absolutely dreaded speech class when I took it! I was a wreck whenever I went up, constantly laughing, stuttering, and shaking. I think what got me through the class was awesome speech topics. I remember making one of speeches about Call of Duty 4 and how not to get killed/not to be a camper lol. Just try your best, I'm sure your professor and classmates will understand if you try. Good luck :)
 

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Join a local Toastmasters club near you. There are tons of these clubs all over the world. These are clubs, usually small in size, where people get together once a week and practice giving speeches. By the time you give your speech for your class, you will be very well prepared and it will be no big deal.

In my opinion, this is the best thing you can do.
I am a toastmaster for 4 years and now I have no issues speaking before an audience.
 

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what's weird is that I can perform well,better than most people that don't even have SA,but when it comes to having to WRITE a speech I almost have a panick attack just thinking about it because I'm such a terrible writer.
 
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