During class last night, a few of the students had to present part of the lecture. The topic for yesterday’s lecture was motivation. As my fellow classmates presented their part, I couldn’t help but analyze the way they made their presentation. During my last year in college, the class had to present a report on a technology subject and we were graded by our peers on how well we presented. I used the same scoring system that I use then to score my classmates yesterday.
I wanted to skip yesterday’s lecture because I knew that we were going to do a mini presentation. I’m not really good at public speaking or speaking in front of people that I don’t know. The view from the front of the class is different than it is from the back. The presenters have to talk and present their finds to the class and for some people it’s not that easy.
I’ve learned to overcome my shyness but a part of me still trembles when it’s my turn to talk. I’m not sure what it is but I get nervous when all eyes are on me. Everyone is waiting for you to say something and whatever it is that you say better be good. I think I only get nervous when I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s very awkward to be in front of the class and have nothing good to say. That’s what happened last night when a group presented a piece about emotional intelligence.
Tran had a hard time speaking. I could tell from the very beginning that he was having trouble. He was stuttering and he was repeating the same thing. He apologized for not being able to say anything but the professor told him not to worry. Our professor, Mike Michalski is really good at teaching this course. I guess any professor is good if they’ve been teaching it for a while. Anyway, Mike was there to help out Tran because he couldn’t make it pass his part. In situations like that, I’m sure that it’s very awkward for the person who’s in trouble. Every time Tran stuttered, I wanted to say the word for him but I wasn’t sure what word he was trying to say.
During break, I spoke with Tran and asked him about his presentation. He told me that he’s had this problem since he was in Grade 7. I told him that I was no different them he was. I have trouble talking in front of a group as well. He also mentioned that he spoke with a psychologist and he was told that if he doesn’t overcome this, it will continue to affect him.
I understood what he was going through so I can relate. I gave him a few advices on how to overcome the situation. I asked him if he had any problems talking to the professor to which he said, “No.” So I told him to present to the professor. If he maintains eye contact with the professor, it will help take his mind off everyone else. It wasn’t a sure fire way to overcome the obstacles but you have to take small steps. During the presentation, I saw that he was able to speak to the professor when he was trying to explain him so if he was comfortable talking to one person, he should focus on that person.
Up until Grade 5, I had no problems with being in front of the class. I guess that once I’ve reached Grade 6, I started to think for myself and I started wondering what other think of me so when I get up in front of the class, I’m more worried about how people will judge me. I tried to overcome my shyness by telling myself, “You have to present because you have to pass the class. You’re going to be doing this through school so you better get used to it now.” Every year, I got more and more used to presentation but I still got the jitters when I got up in front of class. But I find that the longer I’m up there, the more relaxed I am because I’ve realized that as soon as you get up there, you’re passed the point of no return. You might as well make the best of it.