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    Hello!
    Im in sixth form now, and despite being able to have good conversations with my close friends and family, when I have to talk to teachers or do presentations, I'm so shy I've always been quiet, but it's so frustrating because I have a lot that I want to say, ie debating and discussing topics that I'm passionate about, but when it comes to them picking me to answer a question in class or in epq, discussing my topic, I get clammy and blushed,and my words come out wrong. It's annoying because I want to study medicine, so obviously I have to be able to express myself in interviews and be confident. I just don't know how to overcome this!
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    I was exactly like you, to such an extreme where I was known as the quiet kid. While this answer may be in a different context and therefore not help you, I'll do my best to translate my experience into something you can use.

    When I started Uni, I knew no one. Whatsoever. Nobody. So i used this chance to completely re-invent myself. I made it my mission to talk and talk and talk. My words would come out wrong, and like a kid with ADHD I'd be on such a roll that I'd be the first to laugh about it. Hell, I'd laugh before I even finish my sentence, and go off topic with how silly what i just said was! I'd talk utter nonsense. Sometimes I'd say something completely absurd, and when people said "Omg, really!?" I'd just say "Nah, I'm lying" and start laughing again.

    They came to know me as great fun and very interesting to be around. I'm sure many people probably hated how much BS I talked, but once again i beat them to it and joked about myself talking shi- all the time. When people commented on how much I talk and fall off topic, again, I'd laugh about it and say "You're completely right ahahah", and just say I can't stand silence. This is a lie, I treasure silence like a love child but I just wanted to be an outgoing person, regardless of who it annoyed. On this note, again, I'd pre-empt the idea of me annoying people by calling myself names and being very real about it all, again, laughing about it with the mentality and phrase "Well, ball to them!" being my motto.

    How can you learn from my story

    I take it you've just started sixth form and in turn don't have the liberty of no-one knowing you. To this I'd say you could take it in steps. having a group discussion? Offer an answer once a week to get used to putting yourself out there and easing everyone into the new you.

    I found that smiles and laughter are key. They're infectious. While school kids may look at you like you're weird, screw them! If they think that the school hierarchy of "Cool vs not cool" is in anyway applicable, that's just another thing you can laugh at. besides, it's infectious like I say. if you're smiling while making your point and maybe even throwing some bad jokes in with it, people will enjoy listening to you regardless of what you say. If you answer a question as your 1 thing a week and it's wrong, just say "Oh, ahahaha, woops" and pull a little smile.

    Show people you don't care what they think and that you're happy in your own skin, and you'll end up that way. That's exactly how it happened for me. I was a shy guy that convinced so many people I wasn't, I ended up convincing myself.


    TL;DR
    Smile an laugh about what you're saying. It'll get people on your side and show those who aren't on your side you don't care. You'll grow into the confidence, it's not something that just happens.

    Hope it helps, I don't check this site as often as I should but I feel for you and your story as it's exactly the person I used to be. If you want to talk about it or if I can help in any way, just hit me up and I'll try and respond
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    Practise makes perfect.
    I used to have pretty bad anxiety, still have anxiety but it's now reserved for few situations and on particularly bad days.

    I found forcing myself into situation in which I'd have to act outside of my comfort zone helped, first in baby steps and then in bigger steps.

    The first thing I did was start going shopping on my own and trying to engage a staff member in a shop to ask where something was (even if I knew or didn't care). And I stopped trying to avoid sales reps in shops, or beauty counter assistants and tried my best to talk to them. I used to be a complete mess, now I can talk to them just fine, smile and have a good conversation and laugh with them.

    I started putting my hand up in college every now and again and I started to get used to and was able to speak out more, offer more opinion and more ideas.

    It just takes practise but you'll get there, my first example may not apply to you, but try to take the concept and apply it to your own life.
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    (Original post by Skyy9432)
    I was exactly like you, to such an extreme where I was known as the quiet kid. While this answer may be in a different context and therefore not help you, I'll do my best to translate my experience into something you can use.

    When I started Uni, I knew no one. Whatsoever. Nobody. So i used this chance to completely re-invent myself. I made it my mission to talk and talk and talk. My words would come out wrong, and like a kid with ADHD I'd be on such a roll that I'd be the first to laugh about it. Hell, I'd laugh before I even finish my sentence, and go off topic with how silly what i just said was! I'd talk utter nonsense. Sometimes I'd say something completely absurd, and when people said "Omg, really!?" I'd just say "Nah, I'm lying" and start laughing again.

    They came to know me as great fun and very interesting to be around. I'm sure many people probably hated how much BS I talked, but once again i beat them to it and joked about myself talking shi- all the time. When people commented on how much I talk and fall off topic, again, I'd laugh about it and say "You're completely right ahahah", and just say I can't stand silence. This is a lie, I treasure silence like a love child but I just wanted to be an outgoing person, regardless of who it annoyed. On this note, again, I'd pre-empt the idea of me annoying people by calling myself names and being very real about it all, again, laughing about it with the mentality and phrase "Well, ball to them!" being my motto.

    How can you learn from my story

    I take it you've just started sixth form and in turn don't have the liberty of no-one knowing you. To this I'd say you could take it in steps. having a group discussion? Offer an answer once a week to get used to putting yourself out there and easing everyone into the new you.

    I found that smiles and laughter are key. They're infectious. While school kids may look at you like you're weird, screw them! If they think that the school hierarchy of "Cool vs not cool" is in anyway applicable, that's just another thing you can laugh at. besides, it's infectious like I say. if you're smiling while making your point and maybe even throwing some bad jokes in with it, people will enjoy listening to you regardless of what you say. If you answer a question as your 1 thing a week and it's wrong, just say "Oh, ahahaha, woops" and pull a little smile.

    Show people you don't care what they think and that you're happy in your own skin, and you'll end up that way. That's exactly how it happened for me. I was a shy guy that convinced so many people I wasn't, I ended up convincing myself.


    TL;DR
    Smile an laugh about what you're saying. It'll get people on your side and show those who aren't on your side you don't care. You'll grow into the confidence, it's not something that just happens.

    Hope it helps, I don't check this site as often as I should but I feel for you and your story as it's exactly the person I used to be. If you want to talk about it or if I can help in any way, just hit me up and I'll try and respond
    Thank you so, so much for this. I love your anecdotes and will definitely try that one answer a week method you don't realise how much this has helped!
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    Practise makes perfect.
    I used to have pretty bad anxiety, still have anxiety but it's now reserved for few situations and on particularly bad days.

    I found forcing myself into situation in which I'd have to act outside of my comfort zone helped, first in baby steps and then in bigger steps.

    The first thing I did was start going shopping on my own and trying to engage a staff member in a shop to ask where something was (even if I knew or didn't care). And I stopped trying to avoid sales reps in shops, or beauty counter assistants and tried my best to talk to them. I used to be a complete mess, now I can talk to them just fine, smile and have a good conversation and laugh with them.

    I started putting my hand up in college every now and again and I started to get used to and was able to speak out more, offer more opinion and more ideas.

    It just takes practise but you'll get there, my first example may not apply to you, but try to take the concept and apply it to your own life.
    This is so helpful, thank you!
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    (Original post by Lularose83)
    This is so helpful, thank you!
    No problem, good luck.
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    I on the other hand have never had a problem raising my hand in class. It doesn't bother me to have the wrong answer or completely forgetting what i was about to say: I am not ashamed. That said, I think attitude is key to overcome fear of public speaking. Having raised my hand, done presentations and held speeches at MUNs loads of times, public speaking has become my forté. I know half of the time I have a hard time expressing myself (education in english but not my mothertoungue) or I forget what a word is in the middle of my sentence. Everytime I speak, I am in the mindset that my audience is a bunch of people I look down to. When you have the attitude of being in control, you end up doing well or then not caring how you preformed. I know I sound cocky, but that mindset has worked for me so far.
    Aim to raise your hand every time you have a question to the teacher, no matter how stupid you think it might sound to your peers. When you give a presentation in front of your class, imagine you know everyone and you're the class' funny guy. Take control of the situation. The more you put yourself out there at your age, the easier it will be later, and I promise you that it gets easier every time.
    I have recently taken on the challenge of talking to people I don't know at parties, because when it comes to the real deal, my first interview at a top bank or small talk with prospective clients, I know how to handle the situation. I want to be on top of my game. What use is there of being one of the top students in the class if I lack the human interaction skills to get employed and stand out.
    You learn the right mindset young but build vocabulary and knowledge on top. Best of luck!


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