BY LORRAINE McKINNEY
Do you dread being asked to stand up in front of the class and read something, whether it is something out of a book or a paper you have written yourself? As long as this fright isn’t completely debilitating, it isn’t going to take years of psychological treatment to overcome. Stage fright affects all of us at one time or another. If this happens to you, don’t worry. Here are seven tips that will help you to overcome your stage fright.
- Have Fun – Most of the time, you are going to be able to add a bit of your own personality and give your project a bit of flair. You will then become a bit of an entertainer. Add a joke that is related to the topic. Show a video or a slideshow, and hand out popcorn to munch on. Create a game that reviews the topic. Basically, give them an Easter egg. You will have so much fun you will forget about your stage fright.
- Just Do It – Sometimes, what you really need to do to overcome any fear, including classroom stage fright, is to just do it. Get up and make that speech in class, or read a passage from a book. Don’t worry if you stumble over your words or make a few small mistakes. You know the material, and you can do it if you really put your mind to it. Remember, every other person in the room probably feels the same way that you do, even if they don’t show it (even the professor).
- Eat Something – Before you have to get up in front of the class or group, make sure that you have something to eat, preferably something that is high in protein. Not only is this going to give you energy, it is also going to help to reduce any nausea you may feel about making the presentation in the first place. Don’t eat a huge meal. A snack is all you need to calm your stomach without making you full.
- Use Props – “There are many things that you can use that will reinforce the content of your presentation, and make it easier for you to get through it all. Use such items as posters, handouts, PowerPoint presentations, etc. to really get your point across,” suggests an expert from Sell iPhone website. These will also help you if you happen to get nervous and forget what you wanted to say. Think of your props as unseen notes that will help you ace any public presentation, in the classroom and once you enter the workforce.
- Count Something – Find something in the room that is in abundance, such as chairs, and start counting. Keep counting throughout your presentation. This is going to help you to remain focused. It will also help to keep your adrenaline regulated, so you are going to be “on” throughout the entire presentation. Just remember to do the counting in your head and not out loud.
- Meditate – In the hours before the presentation, take some time to relax and meditate. You will need to find a location that is quiet where you can be alone and comfortable. Close your eyes, and keep your breathing controlled. As you focus on your breathing, you will begin to enter a relaxed state. In time, you will come to a point where you can relax every part of your body, one at a time.
- No Caffeine – You may think that you need a coffee to perk you up before your presentation to the class. What it is really going to do is make you more nervous and jittery, and this is going to make getting through your presentation that much more difficult. Safe the coffee for chats with your classmates after you give the presentation.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.