3 Ways To Improve Your College Presentation Skills

Preparing and giving presentations is a large part of college life, yet a lot of students are absolutely terrified of public speaking.

In fact, most students dread walking to the front of the classroom to give a presentation alone in front of their peers.

Unfortunately, nowadays a lot of colleges and universities require a speech-focused course in order to graduate.  At a minimum, students will be expected to give presentations to meet other course requirements.

Fear of public speaking can really hinder a student’s college experience. Since some form of public speaking is a component of many college courses, students who have this fear might be inclined to shy away from certain courses that they really want to take because they simply just don’t want to speak in front of the class.

While every student may not become the best public speaker in the world, there are ways to become more comfortable and confident when speaking in front of a crowd….

  • 1. Fake Eye Contact. If making eye contact with your peers only makes you more nervous, then you should try focusing on something else in the room that is in the direction of your audience. If you happen to be presenting in the front of the classroom, try the back wall or an empty chair. This should help a lot because it will give the illusion that you are making eye contact when you really aren’t, your peers or professor won’t know the difference, and you’ll be able to remain calm.
  • 2. Practice, Practice, Practice. Why do sports teams practice each week before games? …Because practice makes perfect. Before the “big day,” try rehearsing your speech or presentation in front of your bathroom mirror as if you were speaking in front of your classmates. The more comfortable you are with the material you’ll be presenting, the easier it’ll be on the day of your presentation. Rather than fumbling through your notes, the words will just flow right out of your mouth.
  • 3. Use Your Roommate. Once you’ve practiced some on your own, you should try delivering your speech to your roommate or another friend. He or she should be able to provide valuable feedback and leave you feeling more confident on your presentation day.

If you still feel a little nervous on the day of the presentation, don’t worry…that’s completely normal.  In fact, most adults have a fear of public speaking. Just try to relax and know that you did everything you could to prepare. This should help calm your nerves so you can ace that presentation.

Good luck!

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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