How to be Confident Speaking in Class

Talk The Talk

Whether you’re a Student or a Teacher, fear of public speaking is something that affects us all. In fact, some experts estimate that as much as 77% of the population has some level of anxiety regarding public speaking.

Did you know 90% of that anxiety comes from lack of preparation?

So when it comes to Higher Education you can imagine that the lack of preparation coupled with anxiety, plays a huge role in why students fear public speaking in front of their peers. 

However, for an effective presentation only 7% is about the content. Your voice and non-verbal communication makes up the rest, the most important part.

For students this can be the most challenging part. Non-verbal communication when not controlled, manifests itself in different ways when presenting. Sometimes it can overwhelm a student leading to other worries that exacerbate their fear of standing up in front of the class.

Fear of Public Speaking

Recent research and anecdotal feedback from our Talk The Talk trainers identify three main reasons students fear public speaking; 

  1. Fear of being judged

When standing up in front of an audience students had a fear of being judged. Expressing a variety of concerns ranging from; standing in front of a group of people who are focussing only on them, worrying what people may think and a fear that people will laugh at them or they may not be interested in what they say. 

2. Physical symptoms

Many students’ nerves get the better of them as they experience that ‘flight or fight’ response when delivering a presentation. They go red or blush or their hands shake, they get tongue tied, start sweating and sometimes the experience can be so emotionally overwhelming they become tearful.

3 .Uncertainty about the topic

Linking back to the lack of preparation, students experience anxiety discussing certain topics. They are afraid of making a mistake and getting it wrong. Despite knowing their subject matter, which could sometimes be controversial, it comes across like they don’t know what they are talking about. 

Our radio interview with BBC Radio 4 echoes a lot of the students’ fears mentioned in this post but despite this, after learning how to prepare, the importance of body language and how to structure a presentation, they overcome their fears and deliver their presentation.

Take a listen to the interview. In it you will hear that Talk The Talk workshops not only help to alleviate student anxiety and support them to communicate with more confidence but manage expectations away from a perfect delivery and towards an increased knowledge to reduce the fear of public speaking.

Remember nerves are always good but learning what to expect and how to control them are key to a great delivery!

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