Although most of your coursework is dependent on passing tests, essays, and assignments, there will be times throughout the school year when you’ll have to do in-class presentations. Many of us feel confident speaking in front of others, while some of us have “stage fright”. Whether you are an experienced public speaker or a beginner, here are some public speaking tips that will help you prepare for your next presentation.
Choose a topic that interests you
Talk about a topic you know or are excited about. If it’s a topic your teacher chose for you, try to relate it to a personal story. This will motivate you to research the topic and will allow you to better engage with your audience. With an engaging topic, you’ll open the floor up for discussion amongst your classmates.
You’ve heard the saying: “Practice makes perfect”. This particular tip can be overlooked, even by those of us who are confident speaking in front of an audience. If you don’t practice, you won’t be familiar with how your speech is going to flow. Presenting in your room or in front of your family will help you feel more confident. They’ll also be able to tell you about any facial cues or nervous habits you might have and can improve on.
Show your personality
It’s more than likely that you’ll be presenting in front of your classmates, people whom you have known for some time. As a result, they know who you are as a person and a student, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine. Present to them as you would if you were talking to them during lunch or at school. There will be a higher chance they will want to ask you further questions and engage with you during your presentation.
Visit the classroom where you will present
For many of you, you’ll likely do presentations in the same classroom you are in every day. This could be true for some high school students, but you might also have to present in another venue, such as the school auditorium or gymnasium. If this is the case, try and visit the auditorium or gymnasium the day before to get a feel of where you will be speaking. This might help calm your nerves.
Visualize yourself succeeding
As you are practicing your speech, imagine yourself doing well and owning the classroom. Doing this will give you a positive outlook going into presentation day. It’s a great confidence boost and will also help you calm your nerves before you speak.
Nourish your body
Make sure you get enough sleep (roughly 6-8 hours) before presentation day. Pulling an all-nighter will hinder your mental ability to carry out your presentation. If your presentation happens first thing in the morning, eat a small but nutritious breakfast. If it’s later in the day, try to have a small snack like an apple or veggies to keep your hunger sustained. This tip can be overlooked but is very important in carrying out a successful presentation.
Overall, you should aim to be well-prepared for presentation day but also remember to have fun! Don’t worry if you are nervous, and don’t be stressed about making a mistake. Consequently, you want to remember these three key words to be successful not only in public speaking but in anything that you do: practice, practice, practice.
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