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Phantom_Girl Offline
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When public speaking goes wrong - January 28th 2016, 05:00 AM

I'm currently enrolled in a public speaking class and after today I'm convinced I'm going to fail it. We had our first impromptu speech today and I completely bombed it. I got lost within the first two sentences and then just stood there for most of the rest of the time wondering what to say. I blanked and forgot everything I'd prepared for. Oddly enough I'm a theatre major but suck at speeches. I can memorize something and recite it word for word but I cannot for the life of me come up with a speech on the fly. I'm so nervous for this class and I'm worried that I'm gonna bomb every time. The professor said there were no scripted speeches so every one will be like this one. I know I'm gonna freak and get nervous and blank again, that's what I do. So I guess my question is what do you do when that happens? When you get lost and have nothing to say? When you draw a complete blank and forgot what words even are? If I stop in the middle of a speech because I got so tripped up, how do I go about it? Do I go on rambling, excuse myself and end it there, take a moment to think? For me, speaking that's not acting is incredibly hard and no matter how long I prepare everything always goes to pot the minute I get up there. -_-


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Re: When public speaking goes wrong - January 28th 2016, 07:12 AM

Public speaking is one of those things that everybody loves watching and appreciating but hates enacting, much like Mathematics. In answer to your question, I use a lot of umms and uhs and then eventually delve through my psychological dictionary to find something. I am much better in writing than I am in speaking. The brain is outstanding in the ability to bank information. For example, have you ever noticed, when forgetting someone's name or some other form of verbal information, the name suddenly pops into your head? The brain continuously rumbles through a mass of information, like imagine a Poker machine reel!

Regardless, my advice:
  • I think most managers of public speaking courses know that they are dealing with something that can generate an intense amount of fear. Consult them and do not be afraid of making mistakes.
  • Practise in a comfortable environment and without people around, to get the hang of the sound of your own voice.
  • Engage in conversation with people regularly, because that is what a speech is: a conversation.
  • Potentially speak sitting down if that is an option, I find speeches much easier when kicking back, much like a panel discussion program that an audience happens to be watching.
  • When you are not in training, watch speeches. Not just compelling, historic ones with gigantic crowds, but also parliamentary addresses, many of which are almost entirely devoid of an audience. Parliamentary addresses are also wonderful in teaching the importance of speaking one word at a time.
  • Think about seeing a counsellor about forms of anxiety.

Best wishes .

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Re: When public speaking goes wrong - January 28th 2016, 03:44 PM

Now you know what you need help in. You're in that class to learn how to be a good public speaker. No one should expect you to get it right on the first try. Nervousness can definitely hinder your speaking capabilities but remember that no one knows what you are thinking or feeling except for you. I took a public speaking class before. I felt the same way you're feeling. My professor told our class that if we are nervous or think we won't do well, then to PRETEND like we know what we're doing. Be an actor. Pretend like you're an amazing public speaker.
So you didn't do well on that assignment. That's alright. You will have plenty of other assignments to balance that out. Keep moving forward and don't beat yourself up over it.
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