1. Practice Out Loud.
I cannot stress this enough. Don’t just read over your notes or imagine saying it in your head, actually SPEAK THE WORDS over and over again. This will make you feel so much more comfortable when you’re in front of everyone. Also, once you think you’ve practiced enough, do it three more times.
2. No One Cares.
No one cares if you mess up a word or totally blank on part of your speech. Think about how many times you’ve zoned out or not even paid attention to what was being said? You guessed it, everyone is doing the same to you. We’re always hypercritical of ourselves, but no one else really cares. This applies to most things in life.
3. Drink/Eat Before.
Especially if it’s a morning class! Make sure you’re well hydrated and not hungry. Nothing’s worse than feeling like you’re going to pass out from nerves and/or hunger while you’re standing in front of a small gathering of your peers.
4. Go First.
And if you don’t go first, try to at least go before the fifth person. This may seem terrifying, but the longer you sit there, the more nervous you become. Knocking it out first will help you calm down and just get it over with, so you can relax the rest of the class.
5. Dress Comfortably/Style Hair.
Make sure to wear something comfortable and that you won’t fidget with. Even if you have to dress up nicely, still wear something that you’ve worn a couple times before and feel really confident in! Also, a tip for anyone with long hair, try to style it out of your face, especially if you’re the type of person to constantly mess with it. This extra distraction might make you lose focus and forget what you’re trying to say during your speech.
Bonus Tip: Follow the instructions! I know it seems simple, but in my COLLEGE level speech class, so many people did poorly on their speeches just because they didn’t include everything required of them. Double check to make sure you have added everything, like sources, works cited, etc. depending on what your teacher assigns. This is a great way to get easy points, so you will have a higher grade, even if you do mess up the presentation part of it!