Do oral presentations fill you with anxiety? Do you become anxious just at the thought of having to stand up in front of a group and tell them something?
You are not alone. Twenty percent of the population suffer from glossophobia (= speech anxiety/fear of public speaking). Most of us, however, will need to give a presentation at some time or other whether at work or when studying.
Some brief advice
- Prepare well. The more you know about and the more familiar you are with your subject, the more confident you will feel.
- Take a script/cue cards in with you. These will help you out if you lose your place.
- Decide that you will not have any negative thoughts during your speech. Leave any evaluation until afterwards.
- Practise what you are going to say in front of a mirror or friends.
- Find out where it will take place, what the room looks like and what aids are available.
- Use pictures or props so that all of the focus is not upon you as a person.
- Do not be afraid to take short breaks to drink some water and catch your breath.
- Try to see the audience as your friends. Choose some you feel secure with to make eye contact with.
Do not hesitate to contact Student Health Service if you need advice or help.