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Public Speaking Anxiety

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  • Public Speaking Anxiety

    Hey everyone,

    So this summer I am taking a class which has about 12 people in the classroom. For points each class we have to discuss our readings that were assigned to us the day before. I almost never speak, but towards the end of class, my professor always picks on me because I am super quiet. I am more of a listener than a talker. He wants us to participate, but sometimes when I want to, I think too much about what I want to say, that when I say it, it comes out so wrong and I feel dumb. Whenever I speak in front of the class, my voice shakes and my whole body and it's so annoying every time it happens. My professor is kind of annoying calling me out when I should talk, but at the same time we are being graded. Is there any one that has advice on how I can get over my public speaking anxiety and speak confidently in my classes?

  • #2
    blackbutterfly , I've always had a fear of public speaking especially in front of a crowd, too. When I was younger, I had to give a 3 - 5 minute memorized speech about drug abuse in front of my 6th grade class. I practiced in front of a mirror and at another time, in front of my mother. I was still frightened. She advised me to imagine my audience as a bunch of trees. That's right trees. She said, "You're not afraid to talk to a bunch of trees, are you?" I answered, "No." So she suggested that I pretend that my audience members were just a bunch of trees and tree stumps. I went in front of my classroom after having memorized my speech verbatim and remembered what my mother had suggested the night before. I was nervous but I felt brave because of my mother's advice. I did exactly as she had advised and imagined everyone staring at me as a bunch of trees. To my amazement, I nailed the speech, and became the top two finalists in a speech contest! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would succeed at giving a speech in front of an audience. I couldn't believe it. Mother was right as usual. The secret is not to be self-conscious, jump out of your skin, show courage, be brave and know you can be better than everyone else with full fledged self-confidence. Be bold and tough. You can do this. Give yourself rehearsals at home and talk in front of a mirror and friend or family. Practice makes perfect.
    "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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    • #3
      chanelle Wow that's very interesting! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I will try this.

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      • #4
        I was like you when I was very young but carried on to do speeches and manage several associations/committees during university and later on in workshops in my career. Being unprepared is your number 1 flaw in any presentation or where your opinion or thoughts are concerned. Don't mindlessly do the homework the day before and then show up to class expecting magic words to spew out of your mind. When you're young, thinking back or thinking thoughtfully about a matter and processing that information is difficult because you're untrained. Life will train you eventually and this is one of those lessons. Be mindful and diligent and make sure you think about the topic. You'll be surprised how easily the words will come to you when you're called upon. Good luck.

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        • #5
          I am sorry you are going through this! I deal with public speaking anxiety as well. Have you tried talking with your teacher about your anxiety? Sometimes when the teacher knows what you are dealing with it helps them understand! When I am about to give a speech in front of a class, I try to make myself realize that everyone in the class is doing the same thing and they are probably just as nervous and anxious as me. It helps me most of the time! I hope everything gets better!

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          • #6
            I know exactly how you feel. Getting started is the worse part, try and imagine you're talking to your friends and pick out something in the background above the group that you can focus on. These anxiety quotes will provide inspiration to overcome anxiety,

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