Dear Amy: I have to deliver a speech in front of my class, and I am very nervous. Do you have any tips that might help me prepare? — James H., Montgomery, Alabama
Dear James: I understand; speaking in public sometimes makes me nervous, too. The first rule of successful presenting is: Practice makes perfect. The better you know your material, the more at ease you will be.
Practice in front of family and friends, and ask for honest feedback. You can also practice in front of a mirror, which will help you learn the material and let you see how you look to your audience. Remember, everyone gets nervous, but if you take a deep breath and are prepared, you’ll be fine.
Other tips include using a prop such as a poster board or PowerPoint presentation to help you forget that everyone is looking at you. Next, remember that your speech will be more interesting to your audience if your voice is expressive and not monotonous. This is easier if you choose a topic you are interested in. Another idea is to practice your speech using a funny accent. This will help you not take yourself so seriously. Find these and other tips at Public Speaking for Kids, neok12.com/Public-Speaking.htm.
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