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  1. #11
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    That sounds like it was awesome! And incidentally, just how many pushups can you do?

  2. #12
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I get nervous when I have to present infront of people. For me, it's a fear of failure.. that my work in the presentation won't be taken for the material I worked so hard on. Or whatever.

    The only things that helped me were practicing beforehand (I at least took comfort in the muscle memory and quick-recall.. so my presentation itself was solid, so if I were to make an ass out of myself, it wouldn't be because I didn't know how to pronounce a word, or because I forgot a major point.) and looking at the back wall like I'm driving and the back wall is the road. Occasional glances to the mirrors, speed guage, etc. but concentration on the road ahead.. Not looking at a particular person made me feel like I was practicing at home again, so it came a bit easier.
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  3. #13
    figsfiggyfigs
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    you gotta remember, most people aren't paying attention anyways.

  4. #14
    Senior Member You's Avatar
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    ^she probably didn't even read the thread.

  5. #15
    figsfiggyfigs
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    Actually I DID (only the OP's first post)

    I had the same problem for a long time, until I realized that most people will not be paying attention anyways, unless you command it with your voice.

    I was merely suggesting thinking about it that way. It would help calm your nerves, which will help you present properly and calmly, and thus win over the attention of your peers, by then you won't notice that people are starting to pay explicit/"scary" attention to what you say.

    Use your hands, that will help with the need to move and will definitely allow your body to release any sort of physical anxiety; On-top of that, people's attention will be called for when hand movements are being visually processed, it will keep them from falling asleep/getting bored.

    As soon as you being to behave like you're confident, you will start to feel it.

    I understand that its hard speaking to people you can not relate to(hence why it is probably easier to speak to the Marines rather than high-schoolers), but think of it as a strategic game plan, you win or you fail, and you're going to use your speaking skills to do it. A Challenge you have to fight and win .

  6. #16
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    I have been VERY nervous about public speaking when I was younger, forgot what to say often or got very hasty so I spoke so quick that some words came out wrong. It got better over time, slowly. Sometimes I am still quite nervous about it, but I seem to have developed something that sometimes I am able to get into some kind of self-absorbed stance (I have no better name for it). I get detached from all external influences and am fully concentrated on the topic I am talking about, and things come from alone. I don't panic anymore, I am very calm and just say what I have to say.

    I cannot say how I get into this stance, I don't always get into it either. I think it depends mostly on how competent you feel on that topic; if you are not really secure about what you want to say, it is harder, but if you know very well what you have to say, then it is easier. Maybe it also depends on how many people there are actually in the room. I can experience this stance sometimes in a more extreme way when being alone, when I am daydreaming - I get so self-absorbed I totally forget about things around me, and sometimes it goes so far that I suddenly have to get aware of my own physical existence again actually.

    My best presentation was that of my oral exam for my school graduation. I could experience such a stance, and I was totally free of any worries. I was so into the whole topic I forgot any consciousness about time, but still I was perfect in time. I didn't even take notice of the teachers in the room, I just talked, slowly but clearly. The thing is I don't really interact with the audience when doing so, don't even look at them but rather have my eyes half-closed and looking somewhere lower, and I think it doesn't work very well when interacting with audiences. Nevertheless I made apparently a good job since teachers were really impressed, and I got the best possible grade (15 points). Teacher said he would even give me 16 points if he could

    So I don't know if I can give you much tips for yourself about it. I would say try to be fully concentrated on your topic, try to not interact much with the audience, try to ignore any external influences. Of course that is not so easy when you have to interact with your audience, because they can ask questions or so. The best would be then I think to not letting yourself being interupted, but make them wait for some time until you finished that part of your speech before you answer questions, and then go on again. And of course, practicing it will help improve your confidence with that process. Important is also that the words you say come directly from your inner, so they feel natural to you, rather than just saying something you had learned by heart (a stupid saying actually, because learning by heart means anything but that it comes from your heart). That requires obviously that you know all coherences and relationships of things you explain. You can take notes for yourself, but should hold them imho as short as possible, maybe even single words sometimes, so you know what you have to talk about, but have to formulate things yourself still.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Man I love public speaking, you need to be prepared properly and that gives confidence but people are there to listen to you, its like being a great comedian or orator.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Eagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildCard View Post
    I have never understood this. I can stand being screamed at by a Drill Instructor, or giving a demonstration to my fellow Marines, but when it comes to giving a speech to a room full of highschoolers, my knees start to knock like they did in high school.

    Obviously I have a lot of experience with my topic, but I have been stressing for three days about an eight minute presentation on the Marine Corps.

    I would have thought I had outgrown this by now.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
    As some people have said, it is a common fear. And you'll only have to do more and more of it the higher up you go in the military. As a marine, I'm not entirely sure how the progression of your career path might go (I understand AF and Army pretty well though), but the skill is a good thing to have regardless.

    For next time just think of it as fighting a short term engagement.
    Have a plan. Then execute it. :P
    If you jump into something you'll fall back upon what you already went over, and the nervousness won't get to you as much.

    Practice before hand if you want to. Work on your timings (seeing as this is kinda an unfamiliar topic to you), or transitions. Perfect practice makes perfect. This goes for practicing in front of a mirror, to actually speaking in front of a full blown auditorium of a hundred people.

    Quote Originally Posted by WildCard View Post
    I finally got around to reading all the wonderful comments that everyone left. Very good advice all!

    Turned out, I think I accidentally scared the kids a bit. As ya'll pointed out, I was looking at it as to how it felt in highschool when I gave speeches. Here's how my morning went:

    8:00 AM: Displayed my double-parking skills by cramming my buddie's F-150 into the highschool's tiny parking lot.

    8:30 AM: Decide that it is safe enough to dodge across the bus "road" to get to the school office. Glare at a few kids who commented that all the deer are "down South". This was probably due to the fact I was in full cammies and boots.

    8:35 AM: Report to office to get a huge orange visitor's tag. Follow the secretary to the US History class with my knees numb and my heart pounding in my throat. I kid you not, it felt like my blood was burning. Teacher lets me in and the class goes from loud and chaotic to being able to hear a pin drop.

    I stand up in front of the white-board (does anyone use chalk boards any more?) with my hands behind my back so they couldn't see how badly I was shaking. I start off by asking how many wanted to join the Marines and a few hands went up. I told them how I went from a highschool wallflower to who I was now, with a few funny jokes in between. They were high school seniors, and it felt really wierd to be giving them my story since I'm barely 21.

    Only one kid in the back kept giving me issues and finally got on my nerves. I started staring him down and slowly moving in his direction to get my point across without calling him out. Two of the kids on the front row closest to me went white and a few of the others tried to get him to shut up.

    Of course he didn't, but it lead nicely into my next segment.

    PT. And he got to be my "volunteer".

    At first he tried to be stubborn, but his "buddies" shoved him to the front. I got him into a decent push up position, then I got down beside him. I told him I would pay him forty dollars if he could do more push-ups than me in 60 seconds. He looked like an athletic fellow, so with the teacher holding my stop watch, off we went.

    He kept up with me for the first fifteen seconds, then I had to start reminding him to go all the way down. Eventually he just gave up. I took a few more volunteers (one was a girl) before I went on to other topics.

    Towards the end of the class, one of the kids came up to me while I was tossing out sickers and bean bags and said he was surprised I had joined. He also told me "I was pretty darn scary for a short chick."

    Overall, the kids were awesome and I would have loved to go back again. I think if the principle can persuade my boss, I might go back for a different class. From what I understand, it will be to an all female class.

    Which would be awesome!
    Yeah, if that's one thing there aren't a lot of in the marines, it's females. Congrats on being one of the few by the way. You are the adult, and you're in uniform. As long as you can fake looking like you know what you are doing, you'll be fine. They might ram it into your heads towards the end of boot camp, (I know the AF constantly does for their officers) but be confident in your decisions, even if you're wrong. It's not a bad concept for public speaking either.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    That sounds like it was awesome! And incidentally, just how many pushups can you do?
    I can do 80. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I get nervous when I have to present infront of people. For me, it's a fear of failure.. that my work in the presentation won't be taken for the material I worked so hard on. Or whatever.

    The only things that helped me were practicing beforehand (I at least took comfort in the muscle memory and quick-recall.. so my presentation itself was solid, so if I were to make an ass out of myself, it wouldn't be because I didn't know how to pronounce a word, or because I forgot a major point.) and looking at the back wall like I'm driving and the back wall is the road. Occasional glances to the mirrors, speed guage, etc. but concentration on the road ahead.. Not looking at a particular person made me feel like I was practicing at home again, so it came a bit easier.
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  9. #19
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    teenage students are intimidating. judgmental. i can give a presentation to superiors or peers no problem, but i freaked out when i had to teach a class a couple of days. i think it has some weird thing to do with measuring myself up in the eyes of myself as a kid. like suddenly i'm a kid again being judged by kids and also an adult being judged by my kid self.

    i don't really have great advice, unfortunately. just that either kids usually: a) like you, or b) are bored.

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