I am not good at speaking in public, and even more scared to do a presentation in English (especially in front of the local students!). I bet some of you are having the same feelings as me. When my teacher asks me to prepare a presentation and speak in front of a class filled with local students that speak much more English than I do, I panic. No matter what, I still have to do it; it’s part of my grade! After having various presentations, I am comfortable enough to provide some tips for you guys. These are the tips that I use secretly when presenting:)
1. Look at the dead objects like walls, desks, glasses.
If you are afraid to make eye-contact with the students in front of you, you can try to put your focus onto dead objects such as the shelf at the back of the classroom, the glasses that the student is wearing, or the students’ desks. After that, you can try making eye-contact with the students and teachers during your presentation. (You know, eye-contact is important in speaking!)
2. Imagine your fellow students as fruits and vegetables
Don’t laugh, I do this:D When making eye-contact fail, try to imagine your fellow students and teachers as things that you don’t pay attention to in daily life. I usually imagine my audience as huge apples and oranges, sometimes corns. This really helps me when I feel nervous.
3. Take a huge breath when you change slides
During that tiny little break when you click the “next slide” button, you can take a deep breath to remain concentrated and to relax for a bit. This gets you a little rest and will calm you down:)
4. Don’t focus too much on your grammar/pronounciation
Yes, grammar is important. However, making people to understand what you are saying is the key. Teachers care more about your content than your grammar. They usually understand if you are not a native speaker. If you know what you are saying and the audience understands it, you are doing fine. Local students seldom laugh at your pronunciation or grammar, you just have to tell them what you think. (if they laugh at you, tell me) Trust you audience and you will be good.
You should prepare it beforehand, especially when you don’t often speak in English. You can practice with your friends, or say it out loud in your room. This will greatly improve your presentation skills.
Here are my five tips to succeed my in-class presentations! Be proud because you are speaking a second language! Good Luck!