The joke is known. Reacting to a poll in the London Sunday Times in 1973 that Americans are more afraid of public speaking than death, comedian Jerry Seinfeld said that if people were to attend a funeral, they would rather in the coffin rather than take charge of the funeral eulogy …
High school students , if you feel a certain apprehension in your approach to an oral examination, relativize. Your discomfort is far from being a special case. And just know a few keys to regain control of the situation.
Tap into your memories
Oral communication is an area where, without realizing it, you already have at least fifteen years of experience! Why ? For fifteen years you have been attending daily lectures by experienced speakers: your teachers … So you have witnessed a whole range of techniques to mobilize the interest of an audience and make a living speech.
In the posture, tone or style, identify the elements that enable a communicator to be effective and try to appropriate them.
Speaking in public has become fashionable since the broadcast on France Télévision of the documentary A voix haut (2016), tracing the preparation of young candidates for the Eloquentia public speaking competition, organized every year by the University of Saint-Jean. Denis. It has never been easier to find – in the media and on the Internet – many sources of inspiration in this area.
So, take a break: take the time to watch videos of eloquence contests , TEDx conferences, the “My Thesis in 180 Seconds” contest , where PhD students summarize their research topic, and why not films like The Brio , The speech of a king , or Ridicule . The goal is to gain a true culture of successful speaking and inspire you.
Practice and repeat
To feel good during an oral presentation, you must have stored experience. So, take every opportunity to familiarize yourself with speaking in public: express yourself at family meals, in front of your friends or in class, volunteer to give presentations, do theater …
All these experiences will allow you to react better and better to an audience. And, before an important issue, take the time to repeat your performance several times. In short, train yourself.
A simple smartphone is enough today to immortalize any speech. Few people like to see themselves in the image, video-training is an effective technique that will allow you to look from the outside and become aware of your successes and blunders. It will then be easier for you to identify your strengths and correct what is fishing for your next benefits.
Originally used in the management of sports performance, the visualization technique is also effective for successful public speaking. To do this, sit comfortably in a quiet place and mentally imagine the movie of your ideal communication, with as much detail as possible. On D-Day, you will be more likely to reproduce the same gestures unconsciously.
Accept the stress
The stress is a natural phenomenon that occurs when we face a nervous tension caused by an external event. It is therefore normal to be stressed before and during oral communication and this jitters will allow our body to react positively.
To do this, you must – upstream – relax to the maximum practicing, for example, the meditation whose benefits against stress are no longer to prove or listen to music that you enjoy …
Re-learn to breathe
Abdominal breathing is known to act positively on stress reduction . If this is practiced naturally by the infants, it is gradually replaced by the shallower breathing as we grow up. You must therefore “relearn” to breathe to reduce your stress.
Abdominal breathing consists of standing with your back straight and shoulders relaxed, and inhaling through your nose for 4 seconds, inflating your belly before exhaling through your mouth for 4 seconds also while digging your belly. By renewing this operation ten to fifteen times, you will be more relaxed before an oral communication.
Of course, nothing will replace a good mastery of your subject to apprehend as best as possible an oral communication exercise. Because, as the American physicist Richard Feynman said “It’s because the speed of light is higher than that of sound that some look shiny before they look like”!
Author Bio: William of Saint Louvent is a Teacher at Excelia Group – UGEI