Overcoming Public Speaking Nerves with the Oratorical Festival
by Athina Vella
According to a University study, Public Speaking is America’s biggest phobia. If it’s one of your fears, too, you should know the only way to overcome it is by doing it. The more you do something, the easier it gets. The more comfortable you become speaking in front of your Parish and a set of judges, the easier it is for you to do things that require public speaking, like leading a group project or running for class office.
To overcome the fear of public speaking, here are some things you can remember:
Everyone is nervous! You will feel anxious as you approach the podium and second guess participating. You are not the only nervous person. When you feel nervous or think you can’t do it, remember to tell yourself, “we are all nervous, and we are all in this together.
Practice, Practice, Practice! The only way to guarantee a calm mind before a speech is to be prepared. Thankfully, your speech doesn’t have to be memorized for the Oratorical Festival, and you are allowed to have it in front of you. Read your speech out loud and all the way through at least five times before the actual Festival. Another great way to prep is to video yourself delivering the speech. Watching video footage can help you identify hand gestures and facial expressions that work with your presentation.
If you stumble, it’s okay! It’s important to know that if you stumble, it’s okay. The essential thing judges look at is how you recover. Mispronouncing a word or taking too long of a pause are common errors in public speaking. What makes a great public speaker is how they move past a mistake and finish.
Stay in touch with the Oratorical Festival by liking our Facebook page and following us on Instagram. If you are a previous participant and would like to share your story or a passionate advocate for the program and would like to write a blog with advice for students, parents, or chairpersons, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kathy Orafanakos Demacopoulos.