Every year students struggle with one aspect of projects — speeches. I, someone who enjoys speaking in front of others, want to help all the students who have the fear of speaking in front of others.
In my freshman year, I had to do a “World Issues Project” in my Paideia World History class. The speech was a success, landing me an “A” and a smile from Mrs.Felton’s face.
Before I had to present, I prepared thoroughly for this speech. I wrote it very carefully, trying not to use tongue twisting words and mapping out my sentences to keep from stumbling. I tried not to have too many long words or too many short words in a single sentence.
Whenever I knew the speech was at perfection, I practiced. I practiced in front of my mom; I practiced in front of my dad. I even practiced in front of my cat, who, by surprise, listened better than my parents did.
I practiced so many times to the point that I could almost recite it; I aimed for that. Make sure to know your information. It keeps you from stuttering or throwing in random “uhms” and “likes”. Plus, if you learn what you’re going to say, you can make your speech more interesting by changing your tone and making dramatic pauses; those keep you from sounding like a robot.
On the day the assignment was due, I wasn’t nervous. I strutted up there confidently, facts in hand. Know your information before so you go up there ready.
When I stood up in front of the class, I mentally prepared for the speech, I thought about good things that would happen from a great speech. I thought about getting an “A,” which would make me happy, and I thought about how smart it would make me look in front of my teacher.
I didn’t stand up and start thinking about messing up or classmates laughing at me. I was ready to kick the speech in the butt.
As I started to talk, I pushed the thought of giving a speech out of my mind. I spoke about the topic like I would speak with friends. I smiled, I looked everyone in the eyes, and I walked around the class room. If you do walk around the front of the room or wherever you’re giving your presentation, it helps you lose your jitters.
The speech I gave was a success, until I started to fall over my words. I stopped — knowing I sounded funny — and I laughed at myself, and I kept going to finish out the speech.
If you feel yourself messing up, slow down, or even stop. If you have to stop, take a breath, and start again. If you mess up and don’t pause, you’ll keep running over your words. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Refrain from laughing for a long time, but if you make a silly mistake giggle at yourself.
Overall, giving a speech is easy if you take the right steps. Do all you can do to prepare, mentally prepare yourself, take some deep breaths and just go for it. Speak naturally and if you mess up, don’t freak out.
Giving a speech is like riding a bike. When you learn how to do it, it’s easy.