>> 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! :)