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bananas

shyness / stage fright?

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is there something a person can do about having a problem of speaking to people you don't know or speaking in front of a class? I didn't really have this problem in elementary school, if i can actually remember that far back. Now in high school, it's kind of more of a problem. Every time I have to do presentations or speeches in front of the class, I get all nervous. I know this is supposed to be "normal" for everyone, but I think I'm different. When I start talking, my voice is not normal and is very shaky. My heart beats a lot faster and I can't seem to do anything about it. I feel tingly and feel my face get red. I can't think clearly either.

When we're sitting in our seat and our teacher goes up and down the rows of students, asking each and every student their opinion on a topic we're talking about, I start getting nervous. Heart starts to beat faster again, and sometimes my palms sweat. Then of course my voice doesn't sound normal. But for some reason, if the teacher just all of a sudden, out of no where, asks me if I know the answer to a question, my voice doesn't shake that much, and I can just talk normally... at least for about 10 seconds. Then my voice starts to shake again if I continue talking out loud.

I don't know WHAT is wrong with me. Any suggestions are gladly accepted. Thanks everyone! :);)

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I took a speech class in Jr. College and I was terrified. I was all shaky and nervous during my first speech (which was really brief) and afterward I went to talk to the instructor about it. There were a couple of other people standing around waiting to talk to her too. I told her that I was terrified and I didn't think I could do it and she said "you were? I couldn't tell." That made me feel a lot better. One of the other people that was standing there was really surprised that I was nervous and said he thought I did really well. At that point I realized that your nerves are worse on the inside than the outside and most people can't tell that you are nervous....

Something else to think about - You know some people who have smoked heavily and now have to talk through voiceboxes? Think about how really lucky you are to have a voice that's your own that you can communicate with. Your voice is a gift - use it and appreciate it. I hope that helps! :)

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Bananas,

What you described sounds like a case of anxiety! I used to experience that in school as well. I know what you mean about the anticipation part. It would be unbearable when I knew my turn was coming up to speak, even if it just meant introducing myself. What finally broke me of that was was to rehearse and rehearse what it was that I was going to present until it became second nature for me. Sometimes you don't always have that opportunity though. The anxiety thing is just a total head trip. It helps to take some breaths, focus and practice visualization --- the method alot of athletes use. Just remember it's mind over matter baby. 8)

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Have confidence in what you are saying and doing. Know that everyone else in the class has to go through the exact same thing you do. I used to get feeling that way when I was under pressure, but talking in front of people is just like talking with a group of your friends around the table, the only difference is, you may not know the people in your class.

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thanks for the tips guys :)

i'm just wondering how you would "get used to it".. i've been doing school presentations since... long time ago.

o well. :?

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Try this method also, just pretend that you don't really care about the presentation you are about to give. I too get really nervous waiting for my turn but if a teacher randomly just asks me something then I'm not nervous and my voice doesn't shake. Of course you have to know the material that you have to talk about but having your mind off talking infront of class and pretending that its not a big deal helps you relax.

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while you are still young please learn the management skills necerssary to tackle this. public speaking is so critical in the workforce today. it seems you have to speak up about everything these days. and if you don't you don't get noticed and you don't get the money. i know you're in school and that's why i think this is the best place to start. for me i am....not in school and have had a job in management the last 3 years and i have never gotten used to it. to get up in front of alot of people and speak about something. my head freezes up and i get really hot and shaky voice also. i hate it. but i guess we have to put our pride aside and say what the hell? i'm turning red, my voice is shaking, i don't know what the hell i am talking about and everyone is staring at me. what are they gonna do? one thing i have realized through this though is that people just don't care that much. in general they're basically thinking about what they are gonna say when they go up, or just....thinking about themselves. but that doesn't make it any easier in panic mode does it? this is a case of self esteem. whatever you need to do to build yourself up do it. it's hard when you have acne, or a weight problem (too fat or skinny), or just some appearance issue and you feel like people are judging you. you are giving them a gift when you speak....shaky or not. that's why it's called a presentation.

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Guest fatman_uk

Sounds like low self estemm an also anxiety, u probly think ppl are staring at ur acne or sumthin, right?

-Gaz

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You know what's funny? I was really into theatre in highschool, in every single play, and was even voted most talented my senior year, but if you tried to get me to present something in front of my class I felt like I was going to die. I guess when you're acting, your someone else so it's different. I know a degree of nervousness is actually good for you, you're less likely to make mistakes when you're nervous believe it or not. But yours does sound like some sort of social anxiety. You could go to a doctor. Sorry my advice isn't great. Good luck!

mercer

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Bananas,

I speak to very large crowds professionally and I sing in front of larg crowds too- so I think I have this fright thing beat. Though at times I still feel that people are staring at my acne, I just do my best to ignore that. I always find someone in the crowd who is a freind or who seems to be on my side. The normal human reaction is to focus on those folks who are being negative, but that just intensifies the fright and nervousnes. So focus on those people in the room who seem to be interested in what you are saying, that is very reassuring. You should also know you stuff cold. That way, if someone asks a question or something, you have the confidence behind you that "Hey, I know what I am talking about better than anyone in this room, so take your best shot." Look, there have been times when I have given a seminar an someone decides that they don't like me so they are going to give me a hard time. When I realize this is going on, I just turn the situation around and ask them a question. People hate being put on the spot. That tactic will always throw the person off and subtly makes them back off. But, all of this takes time to build up. Like was said earlier, these are skills you have to develop because they are important professionally. Be glad that you realize you need to work on these skills now. The more you practice and realize that you are your worst critic, the better off you will be. Remember, it is never easy!

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