One of the most feared things every college student will hear is, You will be presenting in front of the class. No one likes presenting a project in front of a group of their peers, but it is an important rite of passage for all college students. No matter what the area of study, every college student will be left with the task of public speaking in his or her college or professional career.
You're Not Alone
Take comfort in the fact that the majority of college students do not like public speaking, so you are not alone. Realize that most students are as nervous (if not more nervous) than you are, and that you are all in the same boat.
Practice Makes Perfect
Be sure to prepare for your presentation as much as possible. Practice until you are confident you have all your facts memorized. Allowing yourself to feel prepared will ease your nerves, because you will have confidence when speaking about the topic at hand.
Practice your presentation in front of friends you are comfortable with. Allow them to critique your performance, as they will offer advice about how you can improve. That way, you have already spoken in front of critics, and youll be all the more prepared to speak in front of your class.
Supplement Your Presentation With Dynamic Visuals
Dont just research your topic and reiterate what youve learned on a few note cards. Develop an interactive display; you can even ask questions of your class to get them involved and take the attention off of you. By involving the class, you will show your professor something different, which can earn you extra points or a higher grade. More, involving the class will also take some of the pressure off of you.
Confidence is Key
Feeling confident about what you are speaking about by familiarizing yourself with the material is the best way to calm your nerves when public speaking. Take a deep breath and realize that your presentation will be over before you know it. Make yourself an expert on the topic at hand and ace your next public speaking project.
If public speaking is something that makes you blue even thinking about it, then you may want to select a profession that does not require it. Read our recent article on "Professions Where Public Speaking is Not Required."