If you’re a college student, then the chances are you will need to face public speaking at least once during each semester. Perhaps you’re about to deliver your end-of-semester final in your public speaking class and you’re freaking out. But don’t worry – in this article we discuss 7 public speaking tips for students that will guarantee you an excellent grade and easy performance.
1. Write and Talk About What You Know
So many of us think we need to know more, be more, sound smarter or more important than we actually are, and that’s just not true. It’s important that you talk about what you know. It might be skateboarding, cooking, dancing, sign language, singing, anything – just make sure it is clear that it’s what you know about.
When you are an expert and you know what you’re talking about, the nerves move to the side and you can really shine, leading to that shiny A+.
2. Practice More Than You Think
You have to rehearse under mild stress, which might be a friend. Then increase that stress, which might be a mentor. Then increase that stress even more, which might be a group of friends. Your body is going to betray you when you get in front of people, so be sure to rehearse that talk over and over and over some more. When you think you’re done rehearsing, just keep rehearsing.
3. Remember the Other Students Support You
The other students want you to win. Your friends are in the room, not your enemy. Guess what? Everyone in that room is feeling the exact same things you are. You are not alone in this.
4. Be Honest About Your Feelings
Be honest with a mentor about how you’re feelings and anxiety. Stage fright and public speaking can be debilitating. Lady Gaga and Kesha are both open and honest about their anxiety. Being open about your nerves and anxiety are going to help you.
5. Be Mindful of Not Using Filler Words
Try not to use works such as “so,” “um,” “like,” and “you know” in your talk. Tape yourself ahead of time and listen to all of the filler words you are say unconsciously, so that they will become conscious. The more you become conscious, the less you will use those words in your talk and in your daily life.
6. Focus on Your Message
It’s not about you. Your performance is meant to inspire, educate and entertain others. Do not allow your stress and anxiety to upstage your message so that you are nailing that final grade with ease and grace.
7. Take Your Time
Don’t rush. Walk out, take a deep breath, and begin. Trust me, if you speed up so that you can hurry up and finish, you will miss out on that precious flow where you are sharing and moving the audience.
Now go get that A+!