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Anxiety before a speech. Any effective on-the-spot tips? Watch

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    I am preparing for a Head Boy speech on Monday but I am just worried about my nerves when it comes to public speaking. Is there anyone who knows a non-cliche kind of tip/technique they can tell me/show me for calming the nerves on the spot.
    I mean anything apart from:
    - Stand up straight
    - Picture yourself in the way you will do good
    - breath slow
    etc...

    Is there anything else that is strange but will work?
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    Recently done my Grade 8 in speech, so hopefully I know a thing or two about it!

    - Know your speech as well as possible. Then, you won't have to worry about what you're going to say.
    - Can be incredibly cringe-worthy to listen back to, but record yourself saying it on your phone/ipod etc. That way, you can listen back to it, see how your pace/volume is, see how it comes across. Also, you can keep listening back to it which will help you internalise it.
    - If you think you know your speech, but want to still have it with you, get a small(ish) card and condense the speech into size 10 font without paragraph spaces so it's as small as possible (looks less like reading it off a page).
    - Don't worry. Easier said than done, but this is what I think of every time:

    Fear is something we create for ourselves, so it doesn't really exist. (That sounds very tumblr-esque but that is the thought that helps me every time)
    No one else is any better than you, they're all human, and there will be loads of people in the audience who would be absolutely terrified at the very thought of doing what you're doing. Others about to do their speeches will be far more worried about themselves than if you make a slight slip-up (not that you will!).

    I'm sure you'll be brilliant, best of luck!
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    (Original post by z1ggystardust)
    Recently done my Grade 8 in speech, so hopefully I know a thing or two about it!

    - Know your speech as well as possible. Then, you won't have to worry about what you're going to say.
    - Can be incredibly cringe-worthy to listen back to, but record yourself saying it on your phone/ipod etc. That way, you can listen back to it, see how your pace/volume is, see how it comes across. Also, you can keep listening back to it which will help you internalise it.
    - If you think you know your speech, but want to still have it with you, get a small(ish) card and condense the speech into size 10 font without paragraph spaces so it's as small as possible (looks less like reading it off a page).
    - Don't worry. Easier said than done, but this is what I think of every time:

    Fear is something we create for ourselves, so it doesn't really exist. (That sounds very tumblr-esque but that is the thought that helps me every time)
    No one else is any better than you, they're all human, and there will be loads of people in the audience who would be absolutely terrified at the very thought of doing what you're doing. Others about to do their speeches will be far more worried about themselves than if you make a slight slip-up (not that you will!).

    I'm sure you'll be brilliant, best of luck!
    Thank you so much for the helpful advice. What caught me from what you said was "Fear is something we create for ourselves, so it doesn't really exist".

    There's only one thing that worries me now. I understand what you are saying, and I already feel that confidence and that non-nervous feeling kind of feeling right now (which is what I want during the speech), but how will I sustain this thought until AND during my presentation?

    I often go blank and just read what I wrote, obviously maintaining eye contact with the audience, but I seem to panic a lot and it would be likely that I would forget what you just said during the presentation on Monday. That's the only problem I have. I won't be able to sustain this thought of mind until AND during the presentation.
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    (Original post by iStudent96)
    Thank you so much for the helpful advice. What caught me from what you said was "Fear is something we create for ourselves, so it doesn't really exist".

    There's only one thing that worries me now. I understand what you are saying, and I already feel that confidence and that non-nervous feeling kind of feeling right now (which is what I want during the speech), but how will I sustain this thought until AND during my presentation?

    I often go blank and just read what I wrote, obviously maintaining eye contact with the audience, but I seem to panic a lot and it would be likely that I would forget what you just said during the presentation on Monday. That's the only problem I have. I won't be able to sustain this thought of mind until AND during the presentation.
    If you feel you have a tendency to read it off - another option is just putting down notes on the card - can be daunting but can work!

    Some nerves are inevitable, but they don't control you - whenever I'm mid-speech (despite being able to come across completely at ease and confident after a lot of work at it, the big give away is my shaking hands - although have gotten better, before they would literally be jumping up and down) I just think, I am in control, yes my hands are shaking/yes I feel nervous, but I am going to just let that happen, that's not my problem etc.. It's easy to be incredibly self critical, but other people genuinely hardly notice small slip ups/a bit of nervousness.

    A slight missed word or back track actually makes the speech look more natural - it makes it look less rehearsed (not in an unprofessional way) but more conversational; it will actually appeal to the audience much more than someone robotically reeling of some memorised words - can make it seem slightly disingenuous! You, on the other hand, definitely seem to care about what you're doing, thus the slight nerves. They only mean that it means something to you, and therefore that means that your speech WILL be great, so try to see the feeling as something positive.

    Again, good luck, I'm sure you'll be brilliant!
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    (Original post by z1ggystardust)
    If you feel you have a tendency to read it off - another option is just putting down notes on the card - can be daunting but can work!

    Some nerves are inevitable, but they don't control you - whenever I'm mid-speech (despite being able to come across completely at ease and confident after a lot of work at it, the big give away is my shaking hands - although have gotten better, before they would literally be jumping up and down) I just think, I am in control, yes my hands are shaking/yes I feel nervous, but I am going to just let that happen, that's not my problem etc.. It's easy to be incredibly self critical, but other people genuinely hardly notice small slip ups/a bit of nervousness.

    A slight missed word or back track actually makes the speech look more natural - it makes it look less rehearsed (not in an unprofessional way) but more conversational; it will actually appeal to the audience much more than someone robotically reeling of some memorised words - can make it seem slightly disingenuous! You, on the other hand, definitely seem to care about what you're doing, thus the slight nerves. They only mean that it means something to you, and therefore that means that your speech WILL be great, so try to see the feeling as something positive.

    Again, good luck, I'm sure you'll be brilliant!
    Thank you, it really does mean a lot to me, and hopefully my nerves won't get the better of me. I'll just think everything is a pure natural reflex so it's bound to happen, I am fortunate enough to get given this opportunity so I MUST TAKE IT!!! lol

    Haha sometimes I just feel like there should have been a gym targeting nerves so you can work it out lool. I'd be on it 24/7 until I can pull out a Barack Obama!

    Thank you for the advice and encouragement, much appreciated! If I pull it off well, got to partly owe it to you :five:
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    Imagine you are someone extremely confident that you know - even emulate an actor/person in the public eye that oozes self-assurance.

    Also, if you think you are speaking slowly - slow it down even more. Talk loudly. Emphasise key points with your tone of voice/eye contact/body language.

    Another tip is to become aware of the 'fillers' you use when talking, e.g. 'so', 'I think', 'yeah' - make an active effort to lose these during your speech.

    Good Luck - just take the pressure off yourself, even if you do stumble over a few words - it is not a big deal.
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    Well I have done a few public speaking competitions and get really nervous as well!! Just know that speech like the back of your hand and speak it in front of anyone who'll listen! Just smile, relax, and I know it's cliche but picture everyone naked because it will make you laugh and relax!
    Good luck I'm sure you'll be great!!
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    The best tip anyone has ever given me re public speaking is to think of your most confident friend and pretend you are them. Literally fake it to make it. You won't feel embarrassed because your friend wouldn't, you feel more detached from it because you're not being yourself in your head. I've always done better using this tip and I use it in interviews etc too.
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    Thanks all of you! You're advice has really cooled me down and I really appreciate all of your support. Watch me nail it now!!!
 
 
 
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