Speeches can be a stressful necessity for you to get a good grade as a project and can be especially harrowing for those with anxiety or depression. Speaking in front of a class of 20-30 people can freak out anybody, so here are some tips to keep your cool.
Drink a cold, non-caffeinated beverage.
Though coffee makes you energetic and gives you a sense of preparedness, it also does major damage to your stress levels. You’ll be either or both a caffeine/sugar rush and it will have you all over the place. Suddenly, you can’t stand still and you start stuttering. A cold and refreshing drink will calm you down and get your throat more hydrated and ready than an iced latte.
Music sets the tone.
Depending on the type of person you are, music could change your entire mood. If you want to be more chill and laid back, you’d listen to something slow and calm. However, if you want your speech to be loud and proud, music that promotes confidence could make or break you. Personally, if I were about to speak, I’d listen to empowering and inspirational pop music that hypes my day up. Music is also a proven stress reliever, so it’d be best to pop in an earphone if you’re nervous.
Physically prepare yourself.
You do not want to speak in front of a class or group of people while looking a mess. Although it sucks, physical appearance determines what people think of you most of the time, so it’s best that you get yourself together. Make sure everything that needs to be is tucked, that your shoes are tied and that your hair is organized. If you do not look professional, you will not be considered so. If you feel confident in your appearance, your words will come out much easier and you will be more focused on what you have to say.
Mentally prepare yourself.
Whether or not you’re reading from a card, it’s important to go through your speech a couple of times to get the gist of it. You have to remember that you’ve known these people in your class for months, maybe years, and they won’t judge or even care if you make a slight mistake. Have a calm, collected mind before going up there and be ready for anything that could go wrong, like a slip-up or accidentally slurring a word. It’s not the end of the world and I doubt a teacher would deduct any points if you have to take a second, breathe and repeat the sentence. What could help is either staring directly at the wall or at your best friend and pretend you’re just speaking to them. Looking at everyone in the eye will unnecessarily stress you out.
At the end of the day, you will be graded on your message and how you present it. It’s natural as a human being to make slight mistakes here, so it’s important not to get caught up. You also should remember that it’s not like you’re the only one who has to go up and speak – everyone is going to get a turn. They are just as nervous as you and that is perfectly okay. If you follow these steps, you’re (hopefully) sure to get a good grade performance-wise.