Your chest is tight and you feel like you’re on fire. Your chest is tight ant you’re burning up. The flash cards in your hands are crumpled from you squeezing them obsessively. You look up and see dozens of eyes staring at you, waiting expectantly. Taking a deep breath, you stumble through the speech. When it’s finally over, you practically run back to your seat, cheeks flaming bright red. You slump down, already dreading the next time you’ll have to deal with your upmost fear: public speaking.
For as long as I can remember, public speaking has always been one of my greatest weaknesses. Whether it’s a simple in-class presentation or a speech in front of an auditorium filled with people, I can barely get my words out from the anxiety and stress. I’ve always admired those who seem to be able to just flow through their speeches without as much as a hint of nerves. The reason I decided to write my paper on this specific topic was to learn about different tips that people have for public speaking.
Before I started my search, I took inventory of what I already knew about public speaking, which wasn’t much honestly. I had some idea of the basics; stand up straight, keep eye contact with the people in your audience, speak clearly. That’s all well and fine, but just simply knowing what I have to do doesn’t mean that I’m able to apply this information successfully. I need more information on different techniques and how to successfully speak in front of people without freaking out, considering my major is Elementary Education; this requires endless amounts of public speaking. I felt like after writing this paper and doing the research, I would not only be prepared for any public speaking opportunities that may come up through the course of my schooling, but also for when I’m out in the world teaching, so the hunt began.
The first thing I did in my quest was search the World Wide Web. I used the search engine Google with the search term “public speaking fear” and it brought up a great deal of interesting websites pertaining to public speaking. The first one I decided to peruse was 5 Tips to Reduce the Fear of Public Speaking on Psychology Today’s website. I learned that public speaking is the number one fear in America, while the fear of death is second in line. This means that we’re more afraid of speaking in public than we are of dying. I also learned five tips on how to reduce public speaking nervousness.
The first one was ‘Don’t Expect Perfection from Yourself.’ No one is perfect but when it comes time to speak in public, some of us pick at every little flaw we think we make. We blow up our imperfections yet ignore the good things. Honestly, though, even the greatest and most experience public speakers can make a lot of mistakes. The difference is, when they do, they’re able to gracefully recover and keep going as if nothing happened. That’s one of the keys to success: keep going gracefully. Most of the time, the audience won’t notice most of your...