Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    5
    I have a kind of Social Anxiety Disorder so I absolutely hate the idea of standing up in front of a crowd. That makes me feel super self-conscious of myself like, "What if I look ugly or stupid in front of everyone? What if I start stammering or fart or something?" All these questions going through my head but in the end I decided to just bite the bullet and get on with it.

    But I still have practical problems in terms of how I'm actually going to pull it off. And my questions are: 1) How should I stand/conduct myself (How far apart should my feet be?) 2) WHERE DO I LOOK? This is the title of the post because I'm almost 'autistic' about this. Do I make eye contact with one particular person or do I stare at the floor/ceiling or do I just look straight ahead?

    2) is the most important question I want an answer to. Thanks.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    and the screen and at the audience intermittently showing you're both being attentive to your audience and following the flow of the presentation as it appears to them
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    Look in the general direction of the audience, you don't have to look directly at them, and occasionally look back towards what you are presenting.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Avoid looking too much at the powerpoint.
    • Official TSR Representative
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by princessmile)
    I have a kind of Social Anxiety Disorder so I absolutely hate the idea of standing up in front of a crowd. That makes me feel super self-conscious of myself like, "What if I look ugly or stupid in front of everyone? What if I start stammering or fart or something?" All these questions going through my head but in the end I decided to just bite the bullet and get on with it.

    But I still have practical problems in terms of how I'm actually going to pull it off. And my questions are: 1) How should I stand/conduct myself (How far apart should my feet be?) 2) WHERE DO I LOOK? This is the title of the post because I'm almost 'autistic' about this. Do I make eye contact with one particular person or do I stare at the floor/ceiling or do I just look straight ahead?

    2) is the most important question I want an answer to. Thanks.
    I completely understand your anxiety! I had to do quite a bit of public speaking in my third year, and I really struggle with it still--even though practice definitely gets you on the road to perfection.

    For standing/conducting yourself: don't overthink this! Find a comfortable position, ensuring that you aren't blocking the Powerpoint or whatever it is that you're presenting, and that you're facing the audience in a friendly manner. Start with a more neutral pose when practicing--feet shoulder width apart, back straight, head slightly up, shoulders back. This will raise your confidence, keep your voice strong, and is an excellent posture for your diaphragm and lungs. Over time you'll find a position that you gravitate to, but try to keep the basics of this pose for the aforementioned reason. This is an interesting article linking to a really good TED talk about the power pose--check it out!

    For eye contact: my preferred method is to find one or two friendly faces in the crowd--supportive friends, lecturers I know and like, etc. Start off looking at this, directing the presentation to them. Then I naturally start to begin looking around the room at different people, assessing their responses--but if I ever falter or need more confidence, I return to those people every now and again.

    In general--find small ways to help manage your anxiety and remind you to breathe just before the presentation. For example, I keep a few small charms that when the anxiety really starts to hit, I can hold and remind myself that everything's going to be alright, to ground myself and breathe in deeply. I also have a song or two that comfort me that I can listen to beforehand.

    Try watching a few TED talks about presentations, practice loads, and remember--you can do this!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.