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How to overcome fearness and nervousness during a presentation?

I'm going to be in 10 grade this year. I will have a portfolio to present my projects in front of some students and teachers. But I get scared while presenting and sometimes forget what to say. Other hand, my English is not so well. #professor #psychologist

Thank you comment icon The only way to overcome your fearness and nervousness is to face them. So in other to face them, you need to prepare for them. This is to say that you need to keep practice whatever presentation you have to present well in advance. Nicodeme
Thank you comment icon I have found that chewing a stick of gum helps to reduce stress. Randy

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James’s Answer

Hi Sarmistha,


While I cannot speak to the non native English speaker issue the advice from Daniela is spot on and I agree that the fact you would speak more slowly is actually an advantage as speaking too quickly is one of the biggest problems.


Preparation is key to good presentations and will help you build your confidence. I remember being told once that you should practice for 8 time longer than your presentation will be.


Also the key parts of the presentation are the beginning and the end so make sure that you have clear in your mind how you will cover these.


The other tip is the more you present the better you will get so always be on the lookout for more opportunities to make presentations.


Good luck.
James

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Sarmistha!!


When speaking to an audience in English, which of the following sound familiar?


You’re embarrassed by your foreign accent
You’re worried you won’t find the right words
You’re afraid people will not understand your English
You’re afraid your presentation will be boring because you speak slowly
You’re not sure you will understand the audience’s questions


Let’s look at each one of these together and see how you can deal with them.



  • Fear # 1 – I’m embarrassed by my foreign accent


Many non-native speakers of English think that their level of English is not good simply because they don’t have a native speaker accent.


They are mistaken! A foreign accent is fine as long as the message is understandable.


When you are preparing your presentation, ask a friend or colleague to listen to you and to pinpoint the words that are not pronounced well or not easily understood.


Then rehearse those words and sentences until they flow out naturally.


Remember that you can use online dictionaries to listen to the pronunciation of words.


If you practice regularly, even the hardest words will become easy to say.



  • Fear # 2 – I’m worried I won’t find the right words


True enough: stress impedes our thinking and prevents us from finding the right words.


However, this is also true for native speakers. To fight this problem, you need to prepare yourself thoroughly.


Under stress we all have a hard time finding the precise words we would like to say. Usually these words are not used very frequently, and so our brains have to work hard to retrieve them.


Consequently, if you use some words often, they will come to mind easily – even when you are under stress!


This means that you can fight the negative consequences of stress by preparing the vocabulary of your presentation in advance and by rehearsing it continuously.


During this preparation, pay special attention to the beginning of your presentation. Indeed, the first few minutes are vitally important: If you start off well, you will develop the rest of your topic with more ease and self-confidence.



  • Fear # 3 – Is everybody going to understand my English?


Good news: Being a native speaker of English does not guarantee that your presentation will be clear and understandable to all.



  • Fear # 4 – I’m afraid my presentation will be boring because I speak too slowly


Because English is not your native language, you speak more slowly. However, this weakness is also your strength because you need to speak more slowly when speaking in public.


Indeed the flow of words in a presentation cannot be the same as in a conversation because presentations contain a lot of new information that has to be digested by the audience.



  • Fear # 5 – Will I understand the audience’s questions?


The question and answer session is often the biggest worry for non-native speakers of English. However, you can reduce the stress caused by this part of your presentation by following these recommendations.


First, since a presentation or speech is usually an event that you prepare in advance, you can anticipate possible questions.


Which parts of your presentation are most likely to be questioned?


Once you have identified the questions, you can prepare your answers.


Second, remember that you are an expert: if you are presenting a topic to an audience, it means that you know it well – or at least better than the others.


In other words, if you are confident about what you know, you don’t need to worry.


And Finally


In conclusion you can overcome your fears of speaking in public and deliver awesome presentations in English. However, the critical factor is preparation.


Good presentations are not improvised, but carefully prepared.


In this link you can have more detailed information about this topic. The link presents videos that can help you:


http://blog.tjtaylor.net/public-speaking/


Good luck !!

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Simeon’s Answer

I'd practice giving presentations in front of people that I trust and ask them for feedback. Public speaking is a muscle you have to build up strength in over time. Some people take to it quite naturally, but usually people have to put in a lot of practice feeling comfortable speaking in front of others. The more opportunities you can find to present in low-pressure scenarios, the more positive memories and confidence you'll be able to build for when the stakes are higher.
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