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Sweat beading in your forehead, the loud beating of your heart, nervously shaking your hands – we all have felt that. And what better way to feel it is when we report, or when we deliver a topic in front of the class. You’re really scared and nervous that day. Scared of what? Of failing? Of embarrassing yourself? It’s not failure or embarrassment you are afraid of – they are the events that happen after it. People might laugh at you? Or talk behind your back? A failing grade might result to losing your scholarship or class standing? Whatever the reasons are, we can agree on one fact: Reporting in front is indeed chilling and nerve-wracking. But bid goodbye to those scenarios, for this article will teach you how to be a master of reporting in no time.
What makes a person afraid to speak in front? Social anxiety? Perhaps. Or maybe, he doesn’t really understanding the topic? Fair point. Because if you have mastered your topic earnestly and you really know what you are saying, there’s no concrete reason for you to be afraid of. Go over you topic again and again, you’ll master it in no time.
After you analyzed your topic, you have to understand it fully. Go over the details again and again. After doing such, critique the topic itself. Based on your research, what are the lapses or gaps of your topic? What are its strengths and weak points? What did it contribute to the body of knowledge? You can develop more questions here, and remember not to be biased; you need to see both perspectives rationally.
Practice your speech or report in front of the mirror. It may sound funny, but it actually works. Straighten up your posture, be mindful of your hand gestures and facial expressions. Most importantly, develop confidence in speaking. Backing up this “funny” idea is a study from Shi et. al (2015) entitled, “The relationship of self-talk frequency to communication apprehension and public speaking anxiety” – people who engage in more frequent self-managing self-talk in their daily lives would be expected to experience less apprehension across communication contexts. When you practice in front of the mirror, you’ll be able to see a glimpse of how you are when reporting in front of people, it will give you realizations and factors for improvement.
It’s not just important to master, understand, analyze, and critique your topic. You need to be prepared to answer the questions of your audience. Instead of stammering in front of people while you think of an answer, prepare it ahead of time. Not only you will be well prepared, but it will give you more confidence as well.
Or watermelons, or a sack of rice. Really, it depends on your imagination. In most cases, we are afraid to speak in front of people because it is as if their eyes are piercing through our souls. But if we play this little game, we will tend to relax and soften up a bit. Condition your mind, “is it really that hard to speak in front of potatoes?” and you’ll find yourself in an instant grin.
Creativity can refer to PowerPoint presentation designs, or even the method of reporting as well. While PPT presentations are still convenient, it’s time to get out of the box and wander. Interact with your audience, have activities, ice breakers or even games. I guarantee you they will be more engaged than listening to you talking for hours. And here’s a bonus feature: you’ll avoid the feeling of being suffocated by their eyes when you talk, because now, you have an activity for them to divert their eyes upon! Not only will they learn more, but you’ll feel more relaxed as well. Double win! Quoting the words from Edudemic website (2015) “Creativity is no longer seen as just being for artists and musicians. It’s a crucial skill for everybody to master.”
In every reporting in class, remember you are not just relaying words; it’s your goal to inform your students about the topic. Don’t present them with boring presentations, with overrated facts. Challenge their thinking, question their thoughts. As stated in the opening paragraph, reporting is indeed chilling and nerve-wracking. But after you’ve mastered these tips, your thoughts will shift from “don’t look at me!” to “yes, keep your eyes on me.” when you are reporting. Best of luck!
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