Being in my classmates’ presence and trying to explain my point was something that always made me jittery. Fortunately, at that time, things would eventually work out, and I received the accolades even though deep down under, I was extremely nervous.
The problem was not because of my speaking skills but because of the fear that my classmates would laugh at me if I goofed up. However, slowly I overcame my concerns, and the tricks I am mentioning below helped me do that.
Table of Contents
Prepare in Advance
A well-prepared speech or discussion points always gives you an upper hand. If you have an idea of the topic you are going to talk about, go through it once in the evening. Prepare small points that you could raise and continue talking about.
If you have a speech to give, this means you ought to rehearse and plan it well. You would not want to stutter in front of so many kids, so keep your written content prepared and ready.
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Building confidence is one area where most of us face a problem. When speaking before so many people, we lose the flow and wonder if we are not making a fool of ourselves.
However, this should not happen as the confidence of a good speaker should come naturally. If you are worried about being side-lined, practice your lines before the mirror before you leave. Look at your teacher or professor and maintain eye contact as you continue speaking.
Pay Attention to Your Body Language
When you speak in the class, everyone looks at you. At such a time, it is easy to feel fidgety or nervous. But if you are shy, your body conveys it to others. Unfortunately, that gives a terrible impression, especially to the teacher who notices everything.
If you are presenting any topic, maintain eye contact with your audience. They should feel that you have complete knowledge of the topic you are talking about. If it is a class discussion, remove any things that you could pick up and get distracted like a mobile phone.
Stand straight and don’t slouch if you have a speech to deliver to the entire class.
Take the Necessary Pauses
Speech, in any form, cannot be hurried. If you seem to speak too fast, its time you put a hold on your speed. Pause at the necessary places to see if the people listening to you are grasping it also.
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If anyone has any doubts, you must stop at that very moment and resume only when they have answered the query. Look around and see if the audience you are speaking to is in flow with your speech or not. It is better to keep your statement going even when you notice any distractions in the class.
Relax Before You Volunteer
Often discussions and questions in the class happen in the spur of the moment. It is easy to get distracted when that happens. If you raise your hand and start speaking up, you might just lose the plot in between.
Instead, it would help if you first relaxed your nerves. Maintain the calm and review what you want to say before you raise your hands. Any hurried entry into the discussion may give the impression that you are trying hard to please the teacher.
The least you want is to start fumbling in front of such a vast gathering. Fumbling or stuttering both can leave a wrong impression. Speak up only when you are sure of what needs to be said.
Just raising the hand because everyone is doing it would cause fumbling and make you look non-serious. If required, you may write the points you wish to speak up in your notes so you may take help from them if you are losing the idea.
Answering Questions Posed
When you are part of a discussion, you would be asked questions too. If you are prepared to tackle them, giving replies won’t be a big concern. It is also possible that you may not answer that your teacher is expecting.
If that is the case, avoid staying quiet and try to reply as close to the topic as possible. If anything, the teacher is going to appreciate you for the effort. Also, it would not make you look ignorant and unprepared in front of the entire class.
Offer your Opinion
The class is not just about you. It has other students as well who would take their chances at speaking up. When that happens, you have full right to counter or support what he is saying. In case you are opposing the idea, do it decently.
Raise your hand slightly and then stand firmly and speak about the topic. There should be no traces of aggression in your voice, which can lead to a wrong image portrayal. Measure your words and start by saying, “I can see why you are feeling this way, but……” or “my point of view here is different and…….”
Find a Balance in Between
It would help if you found a balance between how much you wish to participate in the class. Being intrusive in all discussions is just not required. At the same time, participating once a month is also not a very good idea.
Mostly it would be best if you tried engaging in topics on which you have enough information. Since the level of confidence with the subject is high, you won’t face any hiccups in the same.
Students who participate actively in their classes can enjoy their stay at school more than others. If you follow the above tips speaking in class would not be a fearsome affair. Over some time, you would become comfortable with interaction in class.
Once that happens, you won’t have to worry about the simple nuances of speaking and participating in class. Mostly your participation level indicates how much interest you have in the subject. The more you join, the impression of high involvement would be conveyed to the teacher conducting the class.