Lecture: Improving Your Confidence as a Speaker


If you want to become a good speaker, it is necessary to train your skills and improve background knowledge day by day. Sophisticated people admit that “ it’s normal to be nervous” (Beebe and Beebe 13), and public speaking is one of those phobias, which are hard to cope with from the very beginning. The purpose of our lecture is

to help you comprehend that speaking is not the reason to worry about;
to show that you are not alone, and many famous great people faced the same problems but still were able to find the ways and present magnificent speeches;
to explain how to cope with your anxiety during public speaking.

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If you are not sure that one day you may present the best speech ever, this course is for you. All you need to do is to believe in your powers and in your skills, train a bit to check your reflexes and skills, and be able to find the way out of any situation.

Enduring Understanding

Concepts that lead student thinking. From the very beginning, any person should realize that he or she is not alone. There is a great variety of people, who become nervous because of speaking in public, and it is very important to comprehend that the concept of anxiety may be and even needs to be evaluated to succeed in public speaking. This is why our lecture should help you define the main reasons of your panic before public speaking and explain how your fear of humiliation, care about personal looks, insecurity, or lack of experience may assist you but not disturb.

For example, you are afraid of being humiliated. Stop! What kind of humiliation! You have no right to think about this! You get a good chance to share your thought with other people, you are the only person, who is perfectly aware about the chosen topic, and no one has the right to say or even think about humiliation, because they take lower stage. They come here to listen to YOU.

How to make students think deeper. You may think that you and only you cannot cope with your anxiety. Well, do not be so sure about this fact. Do you know that President Kennedy was afraid of public speaking. He needed more than an hour to cope with his own anxiety and speak on public. However, when the time to go outside came, no one could guess that he had some problems or fears. His speeches always sounded confident and interesting. Just think that you are not the President (yet), and your public is not so great as President’s one. But still, you are to perform this speech, and you may take the best qualities and ideas and pull yourself together. Just focus on your message but not on your fears. If you think that your fears and your public prevent you from speaking interesting and informative, you increase the level of your anxiety. However, it is you, who control this anxiety, so, show your leading skills!

Instructional Procedures

Teaching strategies. First activity. If you want to organize your thoughts and ideas properly, it is not enough to listen to my speeches only. Now, it is time to show how mature you may be and how successfully you may use the material sent.

Let us participate in an inquire that helps you define what you may be afraid of the most. Answer the following questions:

What can make you start worrying?
What are your first thoughts when you start speaking on public?
What can make confuse you while speaking?

Well, look at your answer. Crumple this sheet of paper and see what may happen to the things, which disturb you from speaking. You may forget them, you may burn them, you may throw it away. Everything is in your hands. Remember about it. Second activity. Any public speaker should know his/her audience; prepare to his/her speech in advance; train his/her speech for several times; choose an interesting and burning topic; structure the whole speech; hide nervous energy by means of moving and gesticulation. Present your ideas in chain on how to organize a successful speech and cope with your personal anxiety.

Guided practice. Now, let us divide a class into several groups in order to compete with each other. The desire to win is one of the causes that make you forget about your personal fears and weaknesses. Remember that the winners’ team will be encouraged by me personally.

Take this little hint into consideration: your creative thinking is your key to success. Make use of the following examples to complete this task: it may be a speech of one student, where the second student performs the role of a “little devil”, who introduces negative thoughts and the third student represents a “little angel”, who supports the speaker and finds out positive sides of public speaking. The result of the group has to evaluate this speech and introduce their own ideas.

Ways to check student understanding. I should also have a chance to check your level of knowledge and understanding of the subject. All I want to ask you to do is to present an essay, where you should focus on the ideas on how to cope with your anxiety and how to train your personal skills for public speaking.

Summaries of the Study

Remember that you need to know how to cope with personal anxiety. It is necessary for their future life. Like any other form of communication, your public speaking remains to be a process. Any process needs to be planned and organized. As a rule, you have some time to plan your actions and thoughts. Learn more about your audience, train before the mirror and make sure you look great at this position, and finally, think about the examples, which make your speech more illustrative and more interesting. Almost each speaker-beginner feels nervous before a speech. Do not be surprised if your knees start shaking before the process. Just remember that Kennedy and many other speakers have already passed through it with dignity and respect, and now, it is your turn. Those, who are waiting for your speech, know nothing about the topic you are aware completely. So, use this advantage and win the audience!

A Quiz: Public Speaking

One of the points of a good speech is…
A) a boring topic
B) constant gesticulation
answerC) interesting examples
D) prolonged pauses


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