Public speaking refers to the act of speaking to a group of people. Although the thought of speaking in public creates anxiety and discomfort, it does not have to be scary (Thomas, 2009). In general, excellent public speakers are men and women who tend to focus on having a smooth discussion with their audience.
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This paper describes a public speaking experience and explores various recommendations for improvement.
Verbal and Non-verbal Speaking Anxiety Signs
By and large, speaking in public often creates anxiety and fear in many people. While it triggers fear of embarrassment for some people, it can result in serious health problems for others. In extreme situations, public speaking anxiety can cause a speaker to see his or her audience as a threat.
During my presentation, I noted several anxiety signs that in one way or the other affected my speaking. At one point, I noticed that my heart was beating fast, and there was an unusual increase in the rate of breathing. I also started experiencing unexpected perspiration all over my body.
Besides the above signs, I further experienced difficulty in projecting my voice and time and again, I was short of breath. In some instances, I realized that I was speaking quite fast. According to experts, such signs are an indication of fear and a desire to fight or get done with a task quickly (Thomas, 2009). Ostensibly, finishing the task much faster, liberates a frightened speaker and allows him or her to go back to a comfortable zone.
Specific Areas I Intend to Work on in the Class
As has been pointed out in the previous section, I have to work hard to improve my public speaking skills. Seemingly, public speaking anxiety can be associated with the way a person grew up.
One of the things I resolved to do in the class to improve my ability to speak in public is to understand what I have to do to become better. I will, therefore, dedicate as much time as possible to learn about public speaking. I will further involve my friends in class, and any feedback I receive will help me realize my dream of becoming a great speaker.
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What I Want to Accomplish in the Course
My motivation for taking this course is to acquire important skills in public speaking. Being an information technology professional, I believe that effective speaking is very critical. I will be required to make presentations to different clients, and a good understanding of what public speaking entails will be important. It is also my desire to be a public figure in the future, and I know that mastering the art of public speaking is vital.
Plan to Improve Weak Areas
To accomplish my goals, I will take time to study and understand what public speaking is about. I also intend to discuss my anxieties with family members and friends to get their inputs.
In my presentation, I noted that I had a difficult moment trying to maintain good eye contact with the audience. Studies show that eye contact helps to keep the audience engaged (Thomas, 2009). It will also be imperative for me to choose appropriate gestures to use in public speaking sessions.
Even though public speaking creates fear and anxiety in many people, good preparation and being aware of the challenges of public speaking are two important ingredients for improving the quality of public speaking. As explained earlier, I will employ different strategies to ensure effectiveness at any time I have to speak to a public gathering.
Thomas, T. (2009). Face the Fear: Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety. Wembley, WA: Impact Publications.