Category: Other Public Speaking Situations
Speaking in educational settings isn’t much different than speaking in most other settings, but it does have a few unique aspects that we’ll talk about here. Note that the following information is to be used in conjunction with the other material found in our Path and Research Area.
The Big Picture
Let’s start by discussing the “Big Picture”. If you’re in school, no matter your age, you are in a growth phase that will affect your future. This is a perfect time to master your public speaking skills.
Odds are that you’re in the right setting to practice these skills. A classroom full of people who probably won’t affect your actual career options, other than the teacher, who could indirectly affect you by giving you a good or bad grade, we suppose, is a great venue for working on public speaking.
If you learn NOW to present in public, you will be many steps ahead of a lot of people who are no longer in school and have fewer opportunities to practice and possibly more at stake. Your career options will also be enhanced if you have this powerful skill.
Therefore, work hard at public speaking now while you have the chance in school. It will pay dividends in the future. That’s a “big picture” approach if there ever was one!
Next, let’s discuss motivations. We discussed motivations in detail in other areas, but we’d like to review it here in the educational section again.
It’s rare that someone is going to present to an audience by their own choice in education, if for no other reason than education usually consists of a teacher handing out assignments. We feel very strongly about switching the motivation from extrinsic –your teacher making you do it - to intrinsic – you doing it because you want to.
This one method alone can make your presentations more effective and less stressful. If you feel in control of your actions you will perform better, find better content with a clearer mind, enjoy the process, and get better results.
If you are miserable about it, only doing it because you have to, and if you focus more on the stress you feel than the research and time you put into writing great presentations, you won’t do as well.
If necessary, go back and revisit our Motivations section. No matter what, change your mindset into speaking in public for you!
Now, let’s discuss teachers. A great teacher can have a wonderful impact on the development of your public speaking skills and your future. However, a careless teacher can have a negative impact that lasts a lifetime.
A teacher should ideally be gentle when it comes to fostering the public presentation skills of any student. They should know that this is an area few people master for many reasons, and that stressing students out with poor grades or public embarrassment by criticizing them in front of a group is likely to adversely influence their skills for the future.
Now, you probably can’t control how your teachers approach their methods of teaching public speaking, or how they foster those skills directly or indirectly in their students. But we can advise you how to approach any teacher you have to make sure that you get only positives from those interactions.
For starters, if your teacher is patient, nurturing and kind towards you as you learn in general, but especially when it comes to public speaking skills, trust him or her. Ask that teacher for opportunities to speak in front of the class. Listen to their feedback and implement the suggestions.
Just ensure that the feedback and recommendations support your positive energy and positive view of yourself, and that they mesh with what you’ve learned so far with us here.
If a teacher isn’t nurturing and tends to make the process harder for you with seemingly unfair or unnecessary criticism, do your best, but don’t take it personally. Make it your mission to improve on your own. Implement the skills you learned from more supportive teachers and from here.
Above all, if someone tries to make you feel badly when you speak in front of a group, let it roll off your back and come back here for more practice, support and constructive feedback.
If things are really going in the wrong direction with a particular teacher, maybe it’s time to address it with that teacher, your parents, or someone else at the school. These skills are VERY important for your future, and no one should hinder them carelessly.