fear of presentations...help!!

<p>Hello Fellow students!!!! My name is Tammy and I have a really big problem giving class presentations. I have had a fear of public speaking since I was a young girl and I can’t get rid of it. When I get in front of the class I just panic, my heart starts racing, and all I can do is read the slides from the power point. When I finish I feel like such a disappointment for a while after. I’ve done about 50 presentations in my life and im the worse ever. I prepare myself and practice ahead of time……..
Despite my phobia, I have forced myself to tolerate public speaking and fight the pain, but it’s so hard. I don’t show my panic on the outside, but it kills me on the inside when I’m presenting.
I have a Masters Degree, and I am working on a second Masters Degree so I have been feeling like this for a while, for days, sometimes weeks.<br>
It seems like other people are so freaking good at presenting, and knowledge able, and perfect! How did they get so good???????????? </p>

<p>What can I do to improve myself and relieve the anxiety? I really need some help and im feeling so inadequate and discouraged!!!!!!</p>

<p>Hey! I was in a similar situation when I was in elementary school, but I had to fight it or my grades would drop... and drop...</p>

<p>I used to practice presentations in front of the mirror. See how many times you can look up. If you don't see yourself but think about facts all the time, you're not making eye contact enough times.</p>

<p>Give the presentation to one of your best friends, a sibling, or even a parent! They can give you feedback. Let's say you're good at communicating your thoughts and making eye contact in the early part of the presentation, but not the later part... then you know what to work on.</p>

<p>Video record yourself. Play back the video afterwards. See what the professor and your listeners will be seeing. Are you satisfied?</p>

<p>Nowadays, I don't have to do this anymore :) I actually rarely prepare for a presentation when it comes to the speaking part. I find that if I have basic points on the board and all the information in my brain (BE VERY COMFORTABLE WITH THE MATERIAL!!) or specific facts (ie. statistics) on a notecard, I can give a very fluid presentation with minimal practice.</p>

<p>I hope this helps! :)</p>

<p>Here is a trick that helped me alot. It may or it may not help, but it's just a tip.</p>

<p>The best public speakers can speak to an audience the same way they can speak to a close friend, or the same way they speak to anyone in a one on one conversation.</p>

<p>Start taking a closer look at how you communicate with your friends, in social situations and one on one conversations. This will give you a good baseline of what your real voice is and what your normal body language is. </p>

<p>From now on, everytime you talk to someone, whether it's a cashier, waitress, bartender, friend, co-worker, bus driver, ect. - always work on your voice, always work on eye contact, always use good body language.</p>

<p>Do it over and over again. When a cashier says "Credit or Debit", don't just mumble "Debit", or casually say "Credit" - look them did in the eye, with confidence and say Debit Please.</p>

<p>When a bartender asks if you want a refill, don't just say, "yeah", while you are looking at the bar or your friend. Turn to him, and say "Yes, Please", or "Yes, same as before."</p>

<p>You can do this all day. It's practice, but it won't feel like it. You need to get comfortable speaking to people with confidence, because that's a major part of public speaking. </p>

<p>Make an effort to answer people with authority, speak with confidence, and be comfortable with your company. You will not only notice a difference in your public speaking in school/work, but you will really notice a difference in how people treat you in public. You will get much better service, people won't blow you off, and you are taken much more seriously.</p>

<p>Is really helps with anxiety. Just make it a habit to always address people personally, direct and purposefully.</p>

<p>A few other tips:</p>

<p>1) If you screw up a word, don't keep mumbling till you get it right. Just say, "Excuse me, X (word)"</p>

<p>2) Talk with a smile. </p>

<p>I don't mean smile none stop like some goody idiot, but look happy. People who are bad public speakers generally have very somber expressions when they speak, and it's a dead give away of a bad speaker. There is also something called, "smiling with your eyes", which basically just means you have your eyes open, you look alert, and you have expression on your face.</p>

<p>3) Project your voice, don't yell. Practice at home. </p>

<p>4) Always talk looking at the crowd. Not staring at your shoes, or notebook.</p>

<p>When you have to read off cards or projection screen, read slowly with purpose. The words are in front of you, read them well.</p>

<p>Another tip: slow down your speech in general. Most people's speed of speech is fine when talking with friends or family, but way too fast when giving a presentation. Always be very clear and concise. </p>

<p>Practice, practice, practice!</p>

<p>BIGeastBEAST : Thank you for this post.</p>