Conquering the Audience


Kelsy Pacheco

Public speaking can be easy to overcome if you handle it right.

We all know that feeling of nervousness before standing up in front of a class to present an essay or a project. Some people stutter. Others forget what they were going to say. These are all common symptoms of a fear of public speaking. With these simple steps, you might be able to overcome this widespread.

            Preparing for Your Presentation

  1. Identify your fear: Realizing what exactly you are afraid of is really important. Figure out whether you’re worried about messing up in front of your classmates or being awkward while giving your speech. Whatever it is, make sure to know and accept that it exists!
  2. Face your fear: Once you realize your fear, face it head on. Try not to think of  what might happen or go wrong – it can only make things worse. After all, there’s a very high chance that it wont end up happening.
  3. Prepare yourself: Preparing your speech is very important. You have to know what information to cover, the key points that need to be said, and the message that you are trying to get across. Having a speech written down and having a teacher or friend help you revise it is a great way to prepare.
  4. Practice, practice, practice: Practice does make perfect! Whether in front of a mirror or to your friends, practicing what you are going to say and how you are going to say it makes a huge difference. When practicing in front of friends, ask them to tell you what to improve, or what they think could use a little more work.

“I always practice my speeches when I know that I’m going to present something in a class, but when I’m caught by surprise, I end up messing up a lot,” said freshman Olivia Pelaez.

Relax and Take a Chill Pill

  1. Breathe and relax: Don’t think about the butterflies you might have in your stomach – those are just the nerves talking. Stay calm, cool, and collected, and everything will be all right. Breathing in and out can and will help you a lot.
  2. No one is gonna know if you mess up: If you forget to say or mention something, no one is going to catch it. If you do miss something, continue on with the speech, and just leave that point for the end – no one will notice the difference.

“Before a speech, I just close my eyes and just imagine that I’m talking to my best friend, and I give myself a little pep talk,” said Tatiana Taylor, a sophomore in the Speech and Debate club.

Don’t Overreact! 

Don’t worry about the audience’s reaction: Some people in the audience will always be distracting or disrespectful – don’t worry about them, as they are of the many people in the world that are simply hard to please.

Be confident in yourself: Stand up straight, face the audience, and project your voice. If you don’t project your voice, it might seem as if you are trying to hide something, or as if you messed up. It is important to get your message across, and it is hard to do so if you are not sure of yourself.
Last, but not least, make sure to have fun with your presentation. Standing in front of a podium reading a speech can get really boring, but if you move around, use hand gestures, and express yourself more in your presentation, then people will get a good impression of you when watching you present.