If there’s a part of the academic life you probably fear more than exams, projects, and being late, it’s speaking in front. However, you can’t run away from it forever. You cannot go through school without speaking in front of an audience at least once! Better start preparing yourself now, because it is only by doing will you overcome your fear.
Besides, a considerable number of jobs involve speaking in public, so talking in front could prove to be an important skill to learn if you want to be part of the batch with the highest employment rate in the Philippines. So, how do you face the crowd, and ultimately your fear? Here are a few tips.
Know your subject
if what you’ll be talking about in front is based on facts and studies, know the subject by heart. This will help you fear less, since the probable reason you’re freaking out is because you might say something wrong and be corrected. However, don’t just do your research because you’re afraid of being told you’re wrong – do it because you want your classmates to know what is right.
Know your audience
it’s a no-brainer that speaking to a stranger is heaps harder than speaking to your friends. So if you’re going to talk in front, try to know who your audience will be. By doing so, you’ll know how to deliver your speech in such a way that they will like. After all, seeing an unhappy crowd can make even the most experienced speaker sweat a bit.
Just because you know what you’re talking about and who you’ll be telling it to doesn’t mean you’ll no longer have cold feet. Even the best speakers mumble and fumble every now and then! In order to prevent that or at least lessen the risk, you need practice. Speak in front of the mirror so you can reinforce proper expressions and mannerisms and correct the ones that are otherwise. Better yet, find a practice audience – your family or friends – and ask them for feedback.
Don’t anticipate that you’ll do something wrong
In many human endeavors, including public speaking, things might and can go wrong. But since it’s just a possibility and not a certainty, knowing that something could go wrong and preparing to prevent it enough. Therefore, there’s no need to actively think all the time that something will go wrong. Doing so will not only make you lose focus on your public speaking, but also make you nervous. And if you’re nervous, then you’re likely to make a mistake, thus making what you thought would happen actually happen. Yikes!
If something goes wrong, roll with it
it happens. And when it does, you can never take it back. So instead of lingering and fuzzing about what you have done wrong, just let it slide. Chances are that the audience didn’t notice it. And if they did, then you can always apologize and move on instead of derailing yourself over a few errors. After all, you have a speech to finish.
The late former South Africa president Nelson Mandela once said that the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. So take this advice and be brave. Who knows? Maybe your fear today may become your strong point tomorrow! Stranger things have happened!