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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen a countless number of threads about people who struggle with public speaking, so figured I'd throw this together. These methods have helped me a lot.

1. Meditate - Right before the speech you're sitting in your seat. Breathe with your stomach, in and out and try to empty your mind. Do this quietly though, as to not draw attention to yourself. Don't close your eyes, but focus on something plain in color, like a wall. This will help lessen the feelings of anxiety.

2. Eliminate your negative thoughts. You may think you're terrible, will look bad, sound bad, or struggle through the speech, but really it's all in your mind. Replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Positively reinforce yourself in your head.

3. Know that most nervous habits go completely unnoticed by the audience. Red face, sweating, and even the way you think you sound is different from the audiences perspective. I've video taped myself in speech class from high school, and I looked/sounded/spoke WAY better than I thought I did.

4. Speak in a clear and confident voice. It's much easier to continue talking if you speak with confidence. If you start to trail off or stutter, stop and breathe, and swallow. Long pauses may feel awkward but they're kinda normal and unnoticed by the audience.

5. Eye-contact: When you look up to make eye contact with the audience, this is a good time to take a breath, or a slight pause. Also, if you don't like making eye contact pick a spot on the wall or something to look at that is right above the heads of the audience. A lot of people do this, and it really helps.

Random Notes:

- Don't drink caffeine prior to the speech. It will only increase your level of anxiety.

- Try not to think about the presentation throughout the course of the day. If you dwell on it all day leading up to it, the anxiety to present only gets worse. If you find yourself thinking about it, think of something else.

- If you doubt your ability to give the presentation leading up to it, replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Make yourself believe you can give the speech.


If anyone else has anything to add to this, please go right ahead.

Hope this can help some of you :)
 

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Thanks for the tips! I've tried some of these and they really help. I'm going to try taping myself next, because my classmates and professors often tell me I did way better than I thought. Hopefully, seeing it for myself will help. :)

Another tip: If the students in your class get to choose when they present, choose to be one of the first presenters. This way, you'll eliminate any negative thoughts and anxiety that may build up the more time you wait to present. Plus, you'll get it over with faster. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the tips! I've tried some of these and they really help. I'm going to try taping myself next, because my classmates and professors often tell me I did way better than I thought. Hopefully, seeing it for myself will help. :)

Another tip: If the students in your class get to choose when they present, choose to be one of the first presenters. This way, you'll eliminate any negative thoughts and anxiety that may build up the more time you wait to present. Plus, you'll get it over with faster. :)
Taping yourself will really boost your confidence, it's amazing how much better we do than we think. I agree, the longer we wait to present the more anxiety we feel. Going near the beginning is definitely best.
 

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Thanks for the tips!
I also noticed that I tend to procrastinate when it comes to a presentation. I usually leave it for the last minute to avoid thinking about it. So I think it's really important to prepare as much as possible before your presentation and get a good night's rest knowing you prepared as much as you could. It makes you feel more confident!
 

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LoneWolf
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tips!
I also noticed that I tend to procrastinate when it comes to a presentation. I usually leave it for the last minute to avoid thinking about it. So I think it's really important to prepare as much as possible before your presentation and get a good night's rest knowing you prepared as much as you could. It makes you feel more confident!
Yeah, I've found that being well prepared and knowing that your presentation is good helps a lot. Knowing that you put a lot of hard work and effort into the project is a huge confidence booster, makes the whole presentation much easier.
 

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ill try these. group presentations are easy as heck, i had to present infront of over 70 people and didnt get shaky or nervous at all. but when im alone in front of the room i get shaky,feel short of breath and light legged. Sucks lol.
 

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Just remember to smile(If the topic permits you to)look up, and speak up when talking.
 

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I usually do the majority of those, and I've noticed, in some ways, it helps to pretend that your an expert on whatever your talking about, so that you might gain a little confidence. I can never manage to get my arm to go up whenever the teacher takes volunteers though, and it actually helps me to watch a few other people present first, so that I can have something to base what I'll do off of.
 

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Oh god I have my first presentation to do in front of students I don't know in a few weeks... I'll be reading this over and over and over and over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I can never manage to get my arm to go up whenever the teacher takes volunteers though, and it actually helps me to watch a few other people present first, so that I can have something to base what I'll do off of.
Yeah, same here. I always intend to volunteer first but can never bring myself to actually do it. Going second or third is best IMO.
 

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This is so helpful! I study a language and have to give presentations all the time. My main problem is that I try really hard and learn the presentation well and when I practice I can do it in a very natural way, but the moment I'm put in front of a class and a native speaker (teacher) I can't look up from my notes. I get stuck in the middle of words and its like I can't speak Russian, but I really can!

I'm going to try these tips next Friday! Thank you!
 

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I think this partly goes to me cause I remember saying how I really didn't want to do a class speech and then you commented to just do it because it'll be better for my future, then a few days later I saw this.
But anyway I've tried all but the meditating thing and I can still never get it right because as soon as I make eye contact I start to stutter or lose what I was going to say. No matter how long I go over it infront of the mirror or my parents, it's never the same as infront of the class. It's not that I can't do speeches, I can but only infront of adults. If it's infront of teens I can't because I've always found them way too judgmental and I can't just turn that off.
The only reason I get a bad mark is because I can't make eye contact because if I do, I lose what I'm saying, that's why I wanted I way to only do it infront of the teacher, because then there won't be any other teens to get nervous about. I can't even do it infront of my friends, how sad.. :(
 

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The whole 'you sound better than you think' thing is really helping me with this actually, it's the fact that I feel like everyone can hear me struggling that really makes me struggle with my presentations. Recently I confided in my friend about this, and she had told me she'd never even noticed me struggling when presenting. It really opened my eyes that I was just being paranoid, and since then I've progressed with my SA and presentations.
 

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Great tips!

Also, if you're anything like me and you're a worrier, take the speech class at the beginning of the day/as your first class of the day. I'm glad I decided to take mine first thing in the morning, because then I don't worry about it all day and I can focus on my other classes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The whole 'you sound better than you think' thing is really helping me with this actually, it's the fact that I feel like everyone can hear me struggling that really makes me struggle with my presentations. Recently I confided in my friend about this, and she had told me she'd never even noticed me struggling when presenting. It really opened my eyes that I was just being paranoid, and since then I've progressed with my SA and presentations.
Good to hear! I struggled with presentations (or thought I did) until I had to record and watch myself in a public speaking class. I was shocked how much better I did than I thought. It's been much easier and less nerve wrecking ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Great tips!

Also, if you're anything like me and you're a worrier, take the speech class at the beginning of the day/as your first class of the day. I'm glad I decided to take mine first thing in the morning, because then I don't worry about it all day and I can focus on my other classes.
Definitely, I had mine last and would dread it all day, wish I had taken it in the morning. The anxiety builds up more and more as the day goes on :/
 

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If I have to present in front of lots of people, I usually pretend that nobody's in the room with me and focus my attention on the back wall. Surprisingly it works quite well for me. :b

And I don't know if it's just me but I hate cue cards. They just make me worry more about people noticing my hands shaking when I'm holding them, so I just try to prepare as much as possible so that I already know what I'm talking about off the top of my head.
 
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