Speaking in Front of the Class

<p>In college, do students have to read out loud or stand in front of class for presentations?</p>

<p>If possible, may I hear answers from students from both large state universitites and small colleges.</p>

<p>Thanks a bunch!</p>

<p>I gave a grammar presentation in front of my writing class but it was only a 14-person class. I also explained a few problems in my Calc class but again, that class has only about 40 kids. Lastly, in my Proof Theory class, everyone goes up and does proofs in front of the class.</p>

<p>I have a severe fear to be the center of attention. I believe its social phobia or anxiety. From high school experiences, my hearts begins to race 20-30 minutes before a presentation and steadily increases as the time approaches. By the time it’s my turn, I feel light-headed, my heart is pounding harder than ever, I’m sweaty, out of breath, and as I begin to speak, my words come out hideously. I not only stutter, but my voice comes out as if I’m choking up crying. I cannot speak right and thoughts of just wanting to disappear overcome my ability to think. I go blank and my vision becomes blurred. After taking my seat, a feel numb. I can’t hear or see normally. I hear sounds as if they were echoes and my skin looks pale.</p>

<p>This is a serious problem of mine. It has triggered depression and I’ve had many suicide thoughts after incidents where I have to speak out loud in class. I have seen a doctor for my depression and was prescribed prozac but I haven’t been treated for this anxiety.</p>

<p>I just finished high school. My last semester was done by correspondents. I’m very smart and would love to attend college, but I would really hate to present anything in class or read out loud.</p>

<p>I need suggestions, any help is good.</p>

<p>Should I look into large state schools so that classes are too big to have individual presentations, or should I be looking at smaller schools?</p>

<p>First, I know the feeling you've described. Granted, I don't have it to such a degree but I understand the feeling. You're best weapon in conquering that fear is to just have fun with it. I always get choked up and nervous in those presentations but if you just calm down and have fun, you'll do fine. Also, presentations are pretty rare in the college world I think. I've given a few presentations, yes, but they are the only presentations I've heard about up here. Big school, small school, your choice. I don't think it would change the (in)frequency of presentations.</p>

<p>Also, I would think that if it was a serious medical issue and you brought it to the attention of the right people, you'd be excused from presentations either way.</p>

<p>maybe you should seek help from a professional in this area. In many professions this is an important skill, and you may find that you open up lots of new opportunities by conquering this fear. Also, if you find yourself unable to ask questions in class, this may cause you problems in areas that you find academically challenging.</p>

<p>By the way, this semester I had to read aloud a response that I wrote for my english class. The class has 12 people, and the presentation took about 3 minutes.</p>

<p>I attended a mid sized private college, have taken classes at large public universities, and have taught at a mid sized public university. Every type of university required students to do some speaking in front of other people.</p>

<p>As a formerly shy person who used to have major stage fright, I can tell you that it really is possible to get over shyness and anxiety about public speaking. Most colleges have counseling centers that are free or very low cost to students, and are able to help students with the kind of concern that you have.</p>

<p>You also could seek help privately by going to a psychologist, social worker or counselor with experience helping people with social anxiety.</p>

<p>I can not emphasize more how important it is for you to get help for your anxiety. IT is something that is fairly easy to treat through counseling and/or medication. If you don't get treatment, though, it will hurt you because there are very few professional jobs in which one would never have to do public speaking. In virtually any professional job, one would be expected to make presentations at meetings and to do similar things. People refusing to do such things would more than likely either be fired or would end up in low paying positions with low status no matter how smart they are.</p>

<p>One last tip: Toastmasters is a great organization to learn how to speak in public. It provides very easy tips, and the meetings are designed to be extremely supportive. No matter what you do, you are guaranteed applause and warm smiles of support. The method starts with your doing very simple things. It's not overwhelming, and it's easy to learn. It's also cheaper than is paying for therapy with a private counselor.</p>

<p>Do a Google search for further info.</p>

<p>I love public speaking. Usually it may seem odd at first, but after one or two presentations you start to recognize many of the same faces, so it gets easier the further along you go. I read somewhere that Americans fear public speaking more than death or divorce. Funny stuff.</p>

<p>Wow, I have the same exact symptoms as you 2005. Kind of makes me glad I'm not the only one. I've had mine since early on in Junior High and still persistent to this day (College Freshman). What I do is get out of the presentantion somehow (fake being ill or just not show up when I'm supposed to present). Not good advince, so dont take it. What'd I do is try to overcome it, maybe by looking up Toastmasters like somebody mentioned earlier or some sort of Speech Fright Anonymous of some kind.</p>

<p>At Florida State, every student must fulfill an "Oral Competency" requirement. Generally this is a speech class where you meet once a week in a large lecture, then break off 2 more times during the week with a group of about 20. You are required to give 3-4 speeches in front of this smaller group, but the entire class is focused on speech writing, delivery, etc. Some can get out of this requirement if they took a speech class in HS or were a member of their HS's debate team. I suggest finding a class like this, required or not, where everyone is in the same boat.</p>

<p>I hate presentations too. I don't want to have heart failure because of it. Can't your heart explode if it beats too fast or something?</p>

<p>I was so shy in school that I would take an "F" for an oral presentation every time. Didn't do much for my GPA! I matured out of it with time, so if I had something important to say, I could. What would have helped would have been some one on one counseling by a cognitive therapist who could address what is going on in your head that triggers that "Let me out of here!" response of adrenaline. Refocusing on a different perspective (like picturing everyone in their underwear;)...) can be very helpful in getting your thoughts directed outward. Thinking about what is the worse that could happen, but most probably won't, ultimately developing more of a "so What?" attitude. I have forgotten words, lost my voice, stuttered, you name it...and you know what, I've seen the best speakers, actors do the same thing (bloopers made a whole show out of it). It's all OK, most of the audience will be more than sympathetic. So best of luck to you, college can be a lot of fun, and with a little help you will master those darn emotions!</p>

<p>This helped a friend in college. She started with an essay or story she wrote, and read it in front of a mirror until she knew it well enough to just recite it. Then she presented it to one friend until she was comfortable, and continued doing this with a few more people every time until she could do it in front of a large group. We lived in a house with a lot of people, so there was a ready audience of people she knew. The hardest part for her was making eye contact with the audience, but with enough practice she could do it.</p>

<p>It depends on what your major is. Most majors in my school have to take a general engineering course in their first year. Powerpoint presentations were made every week in class, presenting an experiment done in class or a project. I really hated that class, it was so useless, we needed to present our projects in business attire for our final project.</p>

<p>Strangely enough, I find it easier to recite something someone else wrote than something I've written. I guess that way, if I look a fool, I could just say that it was part of the script so to speak. Ironically, I consider myself shy, but I enjoy acting. The best example of this paradox would be that I had to critique the each issue of my HS school paper, and even though I'd write it out and go over it with the advisor beforehand, I could never get it out [there were like 30 people in the room]. However, I delivered a monologue in front of my whole class [~101 people] with ease.
I'm currently taking a "Social Phobia and Fear of Public Speaking" class, and we have to give 7-8 presentations. It's a small class, though [14 people], so it's not that bad. It also has a science-ish feel [we read empirical articles on studies done on social phobia], and we have labs, but it's been helping me.</p>

<p>I also have the sweaty palms/pounding heart/shaky hands syndrome...I get it everytime I speak in front of the class...</p>

<p>Luckily, I managed to somehow calm myself enough to be a public speaking finalist last year.</p>

<p>Wow, that seems pretty serious. It REALLY differs for me. Usually I am very relaxed in front of the class. Sometimes I get nervous, though. In discussions in which there is a "hot seat," I get VERY nervous. It's pretty weird. but I find that the louder I make my voice, the less it shakes.</p>

<p>I really love standing in front of an audience and presenting. What I hate is when its not interactive(ie. no Q&A) and all they do is stare! I was like you about two years ago but have slowly become more secure about it. I now will volunteer to talk in front of the class or present something but I don't know of any one tip or trick to use.</p>

<p>Also, don't be ashamed to see a doctor about this or even a counselor.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Q&A is good because you can joke around and its okay. The only time I get nervous is when everyone stares with a confused expression, and some even say, "Wha?" Then I start to think, "I need to get the hell uut of here."</p>