6 Tricks For Public Speaking

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Growing up, there were no words I dreaded more than "you will have to present in class". The idea of having an entire class's attention focused solely on me was utterly terrifying. Today, I can proudly say that I am not afraid to talk to the class. If anything, I prefer presentations to on-the-spot presentations because at least I have time to prepare.

1. Prepare

Instead of memorizing a script or writing in a teeny tiny font to squeeze information on a single note card, just educate yourself on the subject beforehand. Knowing about the subject will give you a sense of confidence as you speak. A few hours of research beats days of worry!

2. Don't Overthink It

If you constantly worry about what could go wrong, you will psych yourself out. Take a deep breath, and remember that worrying never accomplished anything. On the big day, walk up to the podium like you are heading to greet a group of friends.

3. Go First

Psh, who wants to go first for a speech? Nobody... which means absolutely everybody is silently praising that brave soul who volunteers. By going first, you set a standard for the rest of the class. Not to mention, of all the presentations in a day, I rarely remember the first because usually I am so busy going over my own in my head.

P.S. By setting the bar for the rest of your classmates, you are bound to get a better score. Not only do teachers give major props to the first speaker, but usually a few bonus points too! 

4. Talk the Talk

Maybe you know everything on the subject, or maybe you are going into the speech blindly. Either way, talk as though you know it all. Someone who speaks with confidence grabs my attention, and I feel compelled to believe the words leaving their mouth.

5. You Are All In The Same Boat

You don't want to stand up there, and neither does the rest of your class. Keep in mind that you are facing a room full of self-conscious teenagers. They are dreading their turn as much as you are. Unless they are in that 5% of immature jerks at your school, I doubt they'll be any critics or snickers directed towards you.

6. Talk to the Class, Not at the Class

Don't stare at each face as though it belongs to some mindless drone. Look at Sally for the first part of your speech because she is always smiling. Remember when you and Billy had a blast being lab partners? Stare at him for the next part. The quiet girl who has yet to introduce herself, she's an easy one to focus your attention on. By looking at familiar faces, whether they are a close friend or just a kid you've known since elementary school, it will be comforting.

You can and will rock this.

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