Friday, January 29, 2010

Public Speaking Deux

Ah, another semester, and I am able to exercise my favorite discomfort: public speaking.
It's not really my favorite. In fact, I hate it. I ran into a regular student a few days after a class visitation, and without bringing up the subject, she volunteered that everyone in her class began making fun of me as soon as I exited the room.
"Everyone laughed at you when you left," she said as I stepped into the crowded elevator. "It was, like, so weird."
She was joking of course, but she confirmed my all along fears that I appear uncomfortable to students. Why else would she choose my one irrational weakness (besides zombies) to attack? I only have 15 classes to suffer through this Spring, two of which are at 7:45 in the sleepy-eyed morning. Suggestions? I've got the regular breathing thing down. I don't fidget, and I speak with authority, but inside, inside I am an anxious disaster. Sigh.


Julie Buz. said...

Oh, dear... :o/ Okay, I'm going to try to make this short:

1. Practice (it not only makes perfect, it also makes you more comfortable with what you've got to say) - in front of the mirror, if you're bold enough.

2. Remember that your audience is not your enemy, keep repeating to yourself that they're really willing to hear you (which they really, really are), and if this doesn't work, just picture each and every one of them on the toilet seat (I use this one when I have to speak to important people).

3. Try a joke: if you're nervous, it may not come out quite right, but if you make fun of yourself, it could go through. I think things like 'gee, you people give me the willies' is useable - brutal honesty is sometimes the best ice-breaker.

4. Because I suspect you may have tried all of the above, I suggest you research the wonderful effects of valerian and test them on yourself (after consulting with your pharmacist/doctor, need I add).

Good luck!

Phillipia said...

Wish I could help, but I am as bad as you are at that speaking thing...sorry. But what Julie says sounds good:)

Chrissy said...

Julie's suggestions sound peachy, but what worked for me was medication. I suggest Celexa or Lexapro.

C. Andres Alderete said...

I like the toilet seat idea, Julie. I'm scrapping all my tactics and going that route.

Thanks anyway, Phillipia. It's nice knowing I'm not alone.

Luckily, Chrissy, I don't need to speak often enough to merit medication. I may just try that for fun ;)

Bash said...

Thank of my wedding.

Heather said...

I would have to say you are doing a better job than I would. I get panicy and physically ill and (if by some chance I still manage to get in front of a crowd) my voice is nothing but a squeak.

I don't know if your married with children..if you are, for more athority think of pulling out the father lecturing voice. My dad could grab all of us kids attention, when we was getting a lecture.

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