Public Speaking...eek!

>> Sunday, April 22, 2012

I hate public speaking. I really do. I have a big presentation coming up and I am just sick of always failing in my presentations. I wish I could be confident and eloquent so that at least I would make Islam look good but I always freeze or mess up. I read your advice on studying and thought you might be able to help.
Assalamu Alaykum Sis,

Eep! Public speaking angst; you're not alone! It's good that your intention is to show Islam in a positive way, subhanAllah you truly want to be a good ambassador of Islam. :)
Speaking in front of people is hard for most normal people, trust me. Even people on tv/performers/politicians can get nervous and they do it all the time! The main thing is to show yourself + tell yourself that you can do it. Positive thinking does wonders, trust me. :)

We're gonna combat this with PPP. Preperation. Practice. Postivity. !!!

I want you to think of a time when you've felt really great about yourself. You feel really up there, like you can do anything. This sometimes comes after you've done sports - so maybe get into the habit of taking a trip to the gym/going for a jog/doing yoga in your bedroom before you study your presentation or start revising it!

This one's self-explanatory - but you'll feel a lot less nervous once you know the contents insideoutbacktofront. People feel silly (me included!) doing this - but it helps to stand in front of the mirror or in front of a stuffed toy and simply practice! Run your mind through your presentation and speak clearly to your teddy/mirror/whatever you want to use. After this, ask a few friends to sit in front you. Ask your friends what they liked about your presentation? What are their 2 top suggestions for you? You can also try it in front of your family members. I would recommend going over your presentation 5 times =)
If you get nervous - remember the aims of your presentation and focus on why you're doing this.

Positivity is simple yet does wonders! Telling yourself it'll be okay, can calm your nerves. Keep telling yourself it'll be okay whenever negative thoughts try to push through. I believe in you, sis - I also believe that if you believe in yourself - you'll be fine.
Most of the time, the nervousness comes from fears of what the audience may be thinking or what may happen. Emphasis here on the may. It's not certain - so don't worry. :)
If something embarrassing does happen though, it's not the end of the world - simply laugh it off, shrug it off your shoulder and think water off a duck's back. :)

On the day of the presentation, make sure you have a light but energetic breakfast, get some fresh air and keep telling yourself that it'll be okay. Also, bring note cards with big font/handwriting/ so that you can remember your main ideas.

This article also may help - it gives great tips on dealing with the angst of Public Speaking.

Some more tips to make sure your presentation is fantastic!
1- If you fidget with your hands - use them instead! Make hand gestures - this makes you look passionate and confident.
2- Chin up! - Make sure your shoulders are relaxed, back straight and you look up. Some prefer to make eye contact with a few people in the room, some prefer to stare at the back wall - whatever you feel comfortable doing. A good posture and eye contact makes an audience think 'wow, this person knows what they're doing, they're confident and they are acing this presentation!' Woo! :)
3- Move! - If the room and style of your presentation permits, move around the room slightly. Again, it makes you look and feel a lot more confident but also keeps the audience engaged.

I hope these practical tips helped you. But the most important thing, which will help you the most when coupled with practical steps is...yep you guessed it sista: dua !!!

Hope your presentation goes well, inshaAllah! Let us know how you did :)

Oh, last tip - SMILE! :)

8 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  April 25, 2012 at 3:12 AM  

Masha Allah excellent advice...I would also like to make a suggestion..Read this dua before your presentation..
Rabbish rahlee sadree wa yassir lee amree wahlul 'ukdatham Millisaanee yafkahoo qawlee
Sura Ta Ha (20: Ayath 25-28)...It is the dua Prophet Moses (pbuh) made to Allah before going into the court of the pharoah..It translates into
"O my Lord! expand me my breast; Ease my task for me; And remove the impediment from my speech, So they may understand what I say"

All the best for your presentation..:)

Anonymous,  April 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM  

Just remember, if you're doing it for class, everyone else is going to present too. You're not the only one, and most people are nervous. Keep a positive attitude--smile! Think of it as a learning opp. I had to do three this semester, and it usually helps me if I'm one of the first ones, that way I can actually enjoy seeing the other presentations instead of thinking of mine. And practicing definitely helps. If you're doing a PP, make sure you know what's on the slides so you can just glance up at the screen and speak to the class while looking at them. And if you get nervous and out of breath, try slowing down. This is what usually helps me. I hope it helps!

Anonymous,  April 27, 2012 at 3:08 AM  

Salam alaikum wa rahmatullah, mashaALLAH the advises are simple yet so wonderful..:).In sha Allah it will help MANY of us, jazakillah khayran :).Btw, it will be beneficial to find a better alternative than yoga because its origin is quite fishy.

Jazakillah khayran again :).

Anonymous,  April 27, 2012 at 8:49 AM  

not related to the post just asking about contact details i can't find your email address anywhere on the page.

Little Auntie April 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM  

Anonymous, hehe, that's because we reached the 'maximum number of questions' (we have a 6 question rule, now :D), so I removed the contact page ;)
But the email is:

khadijah April 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM  

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu! !! Wowwww public speaking ! Eke is right!!! Public speaking is always sooo nerve racking! I mean there are those who Allah blessed with the natural public speaking tongue but for others like ourselves , it's really the greatest time to practice our tongue twister ryhms isn't?!

I agree with all the advice that's was given masha'allah ! Great !!! I maybe just wanted to add, PRACTISING (oops caps locks, iPhone automatically does that ) INFRONt of the mirror is also a good way ! I mean so you know what you look like when you talk and usually we are our own worst enemy ! So if we can tackle ourselves and watching ourselves talk to ourselves it may ease the tension when in public ! And yes practicing INFRONt of friends and family is good too !! Oh I was also taught this in drama class in high school to always pick a few people in the front row and stare at their nose!!! It looks exactly like you're looking at them! Heheh ... But I mean the best advice I could offer is pretend you are preparing a monologue and know your material inside out and keep practicing with the mirror and inshaa'Allah make duaa that Allah opens your chest and your tongue and eases all tension !!!!! And you will do great!!!!!! :) xoxox
Khadijah (onechinesemuslimah !)

Anonymous,  May 3, 2012 at 12:46 AM  

MashaAllah! Public speaking!!
If you are new to public speaking, it really helps to really learn the subject you are trying to speak about.
Make notes, draft, and read about the topic before you presentation.
InshaAllah everything will be okay, keep up the spirit!!

Apple Blossoms October 6, 2012 at 7:34 PM  

I'm taking Speech class this semester, and let me tell you, practicing is key! Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Go to the room in which you will be presenting beforehand with some friends or alone and give your speech/presentation. Practice the hand gestures, moving around, eye contact, etc. This is sure to help you, inshaAllah. :)

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Asalamu aialkum!
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