Want to be a Teacher but Scared of Public Speaking? 10 Ways for Success!

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Do you want to be a teacher but scared of public speaking? Does the idea of speaking up in front of your students make you sweat and dry your mouth? Just leave your stress behind and overcome the fear of public speaking by following the 10 simple steps provided in this blog!

You can also learn about the techniques of how to deal with nervousness before a speech, know about the importance of public speaking and how to master this specific skill by reading this blog.

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Table of Contents

scared of public speaking

What is Public Speaking?

As defined by Merriam-Webster, “Public speaking is the art of effective oral communication with an audience.” So, public speaking is about conveying purposeful information to a large audience. Your audience can be your family members (e.g. in a family wedding) or a group of strangers. In public speaking, the information is meant to inform, influence or entertain a group of listeners.

What are the Elements of Public Speaking?

There are five elements of public speaking, which are-

The Speaker

The speaker is undoubtedly the most vital element among all the essential elements of public speaking. Speakers often do not realise that they are the introduction themselves and not the visual aids they use.

Instead of putting a lot of effort into the visual guides, you should prepare yourself and make a proper appearance with your confidence, delivery style, and energy level.

The Message

The message is about everything the speaker says. The message can be dissected into three fundamental components: Content, Style and Structure.

Content refers to the things that the speaker says about the subject they are speaking about. Style clarifies how the substance of the speech is introduced and whether your approach is formal or informal. Structure denotes the numerous approaches to putting together your message; it could include a presentation, a body and a conclusion.

The Audience

The audience are active participants in your speech. An expert public speaker analyses his audience before the speech and draws conclusions on introducing his thoughts.

This analysis might incorporate some significant considerations such as age, sex, race, geographic area and so on.

The Medium

The medium or the communication channel is essential for your speech delivery. If you are using a microphone, your voice should reach the last individual in the auditorium. On a video call, both your video and audio must be clear.

A defective medium has the capacity of conveying inadequate or incomplete messages. If your medium is faulty, it would ruin your entire effort.

The Environment

The effectiveness of your speech also depends on the environment or the surrounding atmosphere where you are providing your speech.

The environment includes the tables, chairs, lighting, and sound equipment that are in the room. The environment might also include factors like formal dress that indicates whether a discussion is informal or more professional and formal. All these influences your speech delivery, your choice of text and your appearance as well.

 

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Why is Public Speaking Important for a Teacher?

If you are in the teaching profession, you cannot deny the importance of public speaking skills. It often becomes a challenging task to keep your students’ attention for the entire period of class if you lack this particular skill. Know in detail about the importance of public speaking skills from below-

To explain the subject matter

The primary responsibility of a teacher is to present the subject matter to their students in such a way that they understand the lessons thoroughly. Moreover, they need to make the topics simple and interesting so that the students listen attentively.
No matter which subject you teach your students, whether it’s literature, science or maths, you need to introduce the topics using the appropriate words and suitable examples to simplify the topics to them. You need to have a firm grip over the various aspects of public speaking for all these.

To keep students engaged

how to be confident in class discussion

It is often difficult to engage students, especially the elementary level students  and keep their attention throughout the lecture. Since they have a short  attention span and there are too many distractions in and outside the classroom, as a teacher, you have to improve your public speaking skills to meet this challenge.

To answer your students’ queries

too shy to be a teacher

10 Initial Steps that Help you with Public Speaking:

If you are too shy to be a teacher or thinking of leaving teaching because of anxiety and fear of public speaking, this would be like “cutting your head to cure a headache.” And, we definitely do not want you to cut your head!

To help you with your fear and anxiety of public speaking, we have come up with 10 tips to help you become a good speaker. Have a look.

1. Know Your Audience

Before you prepare your speech, consider who your audience is. As a teacher, your students would be your audience, so try to learn about your students as much as you can. This will help you determine the choice of words and level of information you need to provide.

As communication theorist Nick Morgan mentioned in Forbes, “One of the best ways to make a speech effective is to create it from the perspective of what’s in it for the audience.”

2. Engage with your Audience

When you speak, try to engage your audience, i.e. your students. If you keep speaking for 40-50 minutes at a stretch without allowing your students to speak, they will lose interest in attending your class. That is why you need to encourage your students to participate and ask questions.

You can divide the entire class into small groups and ask your students to participate in a group discussion on a specific topic. Then you might ask them questions, inquire about their opinion, and express your own opinion later on.

3. Have your own Style

You might be following good speakers to improve your public speaking skills; however, you should try developing your own style as well.

Integrate your personality into your speaking style to feel more comfortable in front of the class. Incorporate personal stories in your lectures as an example to let your students know you better.

4. Work on your Body Language

Your success in public speaking as a teacher often depends on your body language. If you are unaware of it, know that your confidence and spirit is expressed through your body language. If you are nervous, your students can understand that too through your body language.

While in the class, stand up straight, make eye contact and smile. A rigid face might scare your students. Also, don’t lean on one leg or use any unusual gestures that may seem inappropriate.
Many teachers prefer to speak standing on the podium only. Instead of standing on the podium the whole time, walk around the class and use gestures to engage your students. This will help you to make the class interesting and will keep your students attentive.

5. Play with your pitch

Suppose you are narrating a story to your students. Now, if you keep on telling the story with the same tone, with no variation in the pitch or volume of the voice, students will get bored quickly.

You need to vary your pitch and volume when you want to sound excited, happy or sad. Doing so would keep your students interested and engaged in what you say.

6. Use Humour

Try to use funny anecdotes in your lectures and you will certainly grab your student’s attention. Doing this, you will also forget your fear of public speaking and be relaxed in front of your students.

7. Be Prepared

You should prepare yourself to provide lectures in the class; you cannot just wake up and rush to your class without having any idea of the topic you have to teach.

First of all, study the topic or the subject matter you need to explain to your students. Then, organise all the audio or visual aids that you would need while lecturing.

When you have all your thoughts and materials in a row, you would be mentally relaxed and be able to speak spontaneously. Then you wouldn’t have the fear of teaching a class.

8. Go Slow

You might speak fast while lecturing due to nervousness. Try going slow; pause and breathe in between. Do not stress out yourself trying to be perfect. Just go with the flow.

9. Stay Confident

As a teacher, you have to face questions from your students. Do not let those questions scare you. If you have the subject knowledge, you can easily answer those. Just walk into the class with confidence and the rest will do.

10. Practise

If you are a new teacher, you might feel some reactions like pounding hearts and trembling hands on your first day. These are something very normal and you do not need to associate these feelings with any kind of negative thinking. Instead, try to stay focused and be ready to give your best performance.
The best way to overcome your anxiety is to practice. Try practising in front of the mirror. This will help you overcome the fear of speaking in front of your students.

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How to deal with Nervousness before a Speech?

Delivering lectures is an unavoidable part of a teacher’s profession. While teachers do not deliver prepared speeches like the ones in a political gathering or in a business conference, their job is more challenging.

You may become nervous while teaching a huge class with students from different backgrounds and perspectives. Consider following the tips below to deal with nervousness before a speech

Accept your nervousness

It is okay to be nervous while standing in front of your students. Turn your nervousness into positive energy. Say to yourself that the anxiousness you are feeling is actually the excitement of teaching students who consider you their mentor.

Do not keep unrealistic expectations

It is important to set realistic expectations so that you can accept whatever happens in the class. It is natural to make mistakes as a human. If your students laugh at your unintentional mistakes, just accept it and continue instead of being upset. Do not be overconfident, thinking that you would always have the best performance as a teacher in your class.

Make eye contact

Avoiding eye contact can affect your teaching and that is an unconscious reaction to feeling nervous. Instead, be confident and make eye contact with your students. This helps to keep your students engaged and lets you understand their interest in what you are saying.

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeinated drinks have the potential to increase your heart rate, causing your hands to shake and make you sweat. This will give your students the impression that you are a nervous wreck. So, avoid caffeine when you have to take a class to avoid forgetting things and slurring your words.

Conclusion:

Public speaking is a must-have skill for teachers. Since their job is all about speaking and communicating, one cannot just avoid public speaking and try becoming a teacher. Follow the suggestions mentioned in the blog and you will be able to conquer the fear of public speaking. 

Along with your public speaking skill, you can develop your teaching skill as well by doing courses like Teaching Assistant Online Training Course and Teaching Assistant Diploma Online. 

 
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