Past Experience with Presenting in Front of an Audience

In the past, usually my presentations in front of an audience went pretty well. In elementary school, I wouldn’t be that nervous but I’d be very quiet. That changed, however, after taking a chorus class ¬†and a theatre class in middle and high school. Volume no longer became an issue, however, my nervous energy intensified. Maybe it was because my shoe fell off under the bleaches when walking up for a chorus performance, or maybe it was because my theatre final involved me being alone on stage under the hot lights performing a monologue that had to involve multiple character personalities…

Nevertheless, I suddenly became very nervous whenever I had to do anything in front of the class or even just reading aloud. That continued until I took a leadership position in DECA (marketing group) in my senior year of high school. Suddenly, for every DECA “social” I had to be with the other leaders in front of everyone, all the time talking about whatever field trip was happening or the DECA competition itself. That definitely helped.

Once I got to college and discovered I had to take speaking intensives classes, I’ll admit, I was not thrilled. Writing papers although difficult, seems less frightening than presenting in front of an audience, but every time I go up to present in class I just try and remember that I actually am prepared for a “presentation.” “Presentation” being like a performance but with less pressure for people to like you. Furthermore, I’ve made it through speaking alone on a stage with the teacher yelling “VOLUME” at you every time your voice drifts off and I’ve made it through talking to DECA judges during competition where they know WAY more about what you’re trying to explain than you do.

So, for presentations I’ve learned that I can do it. As long as I take a deep breath, remember that I know what I’m talking about, and that the awful feeling of my heart jumping out of my chest with every beat will settle down as I continue to speak.

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2 Responses to “Past Experience with Presenting in Front of an Audience”

  1. dcarrol3 Says:

    Ive never thought of a presentation as a performance before. That seems like a great idea. It will keep you interesting to the audience and even if your feeling something negative during your presentation you can “act” like everything is fine. Good suggestion.

  2. ebroton21 Says:

    I have to agree, when I first realized that some of my classes were speaking intensive I was not too thrilled either. I think maybe the word ‘speaking’ should be changed to something else, so that people do not wig out as much. Your suggestion on thinking a presentation as a performance is great. I might take that a step further and act like I’m the instructor for ten minutes.


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