Friday, November 14, 2008

Things that make me anxious and sad

I’m not generally a very anxious person. I’ve learned not to worry about things I can’t change and to do something about things I can. However, no matter how hard I try, there’s at least one area where I have trouble applying this: public speaking. I’ve tried almost all the advice given to me (practice, move around, DON’T USE NOTES) and while I’ve probably become a much better speaker than I was in my high school days of stammering and “umm”-ing, I still can’t stop feeling nauseous or keep my hands from shaking. I don’t know what to do anymore.

I have two short presentations to give next week. I’m not at all excited. I’ve jokingly told my friends that I’ll need either plenty of alcohol or a valium to get through the two presentations without at least one session of huddling in the bathroom crying, but I’m not sure I was just joking.

And just to keep this post from being all whiny and annoying, here’s an article from The Onion that one of my professors posted after we finished two weeks of rodent behaviour labs yesterday.


Eugenie said...

I get the same way when I present too. What I try do to is set myself up more often with situations where I have to speak publicly... force myself to get that experience (like treating a phobia, just desensitize yourself)

Also, I've never been a fan of practicing speeches on my own (talking to a mirror freaks me out). So instead I just talk aloud flipping through the slides in my room.

P.s. its good to see another crazy undergrad out here in the blogosphere! you are more or less blogrolled....

Eugenie said...


LostMarbles said...

I've been doing pretty much that since high school (drama club -> school council -> 1st year seminar class -> etc.) and one of the presentations is for a class called Scientific Communication, which has been nothing but abstracts & presentations. It's been tolerable (although I did get the shakes every time I presented) so far because all the presentations were short and the audience was 90% students. The presentation next week is longer and the audience will consist mostly of profs I have never met, which has me extremely scared.

\o/ Blogrolled? And tagged for a meme? Wee. I'll add you right back

Comrade PhysioProf said...

One thing to always try to remember is that no one can tell how nervous you are unless you tell them or show them.

Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde said...

I get awfully nervous too, but CPP's right. The best you can do is to reassure yourself on the content. Review what you're going to say with every slide, imagine questions you might get asked, and prepare accordingly. The better prepared you are, the more confident you will feel--and the more likely that someone will ask you something you know, which will help boost your confidence.

Other than that, there's really only practice. It's good to be a bit scared to present in front of a bunch of profs. The kids who don't take it seriously are usually not destined for greatness.