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brit

Presentations at school

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This week I have to do two presentations and I'm freaking out. One of them is for history and in my school we all do community service and I had to make a PowerPoint on what I did and I have to present it to the class and make it 5 minutes long. My other presentation I have to do tomorrow and my school is a vocational technical high school, so we have shops, before I had health anxiety I went into the medical shop (probably not a good choice in hindsight), but for this presentation we have to pick a skill from shop, make a PowerPoint on how to do it and then teach it to the class. I picked blood pressure because we do that everyday in shop and I feel like I'm pretty good at it, but I have no idea how I'll be able to do it while everyone is looking at me. Whenever I do a presentation, even if it's with people I am comfortable with, I shake and my voice gets shaky and I stutter a lot. I know I'll be so nervous that I'll forget what I'm doing and I won't be able to focus on taking my friends blood pressure. I have already asked and I'm not allowed to do either of the presentations after school, it's like they don't care if it causes this much stress. When I get up in front of everyone I just feel so pressured to do everything right. Also knowing my luck I'll probably have to do both the presentations on the same day, and I have history right before English (where we do the presentation for shop) so I would have one presentation on top of the other. Instead of showing them how to take blood pressure, I'll show them how to have a panic attack. I sometimes have full blown panic attacks when presenting in front of people and as we all know, concentration is very hard when having a panic attack. I don't know what to do

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NO! you won't fail brit!!!! Only if you think you will.  Why is it so important what people think of you. You can only do your best, no more no less. You are a capable intelligent person so why should you not be able to give a five minute lecture? People can be a lot more understanding than you think and I am sure no one is going to criticise you if you do your best. Before you start take some deep breathes and say to yourself, and mean it,

 

"I am going to do this come what may. I know I can do it and I will. I am more intelligent than my anxiety and I will not be ruled by it".

 

Say it over and over. Get it firmly planted in your mind then go and  do it. Self confidence only comes by doing. By saying you already know how you are going to feel you lay the foundations for failure. By saying positive things you lay the groundwork for success. Anticipation in anxiety is a real bind, but remember, the event is never as bad as we think it will be. We blow everything up out of all proportion. Go for it brit. You can win and we are all gunning for you.     Jon.

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You say you know the stuff you are presenting but just nervous about it. Just make something your focal point so you aren't looking at the people. For example a poster the teacher has on the wall or something. If you have a panic attack during the blood pressure presentation maybe you could incorporate it in your presentation to show how the blood pressure rises or something.

Just try to tell yourself it's only 5 minutes which in reality isn't that long. Even though it seems like forever. You know the people and have probably talked to them before so no need to be so nervous. I know all this is easier said than done, trust me.

Think back of when you didn't think you wouldn't be able to go to your friends funeral. You were dreading it and having negative thoughts and even though you did panic, you got yourself together and was able to say your goodbye and felt good that you did it.

You did something you feared before and got through it. Recovery is in doing the things you fear. Tell yourself you are practicing recovery from this horrible thing called anxiety and you will be better for it in the long run. You can do this!!! If they are in the same day think if it as all the better because you get them both over with and don't have to worry about giving another one another day. You will get them over with and be able to relax.

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Thanks for the advice, I will try to remember it when it gets close to time to presenting. Luckily today my teacher that is doing the presentation for my shop sounded like he's going to let me do it after school, he said he would talk to me one on one, but he didn't say much after that, hopefully that means he'll let me do it after school because that's the presentation I'm the most anxious about. It counts for about 20-30 percent of my final grade and I have a big class filled with a lot of people I don't particulary care for. I still have to do my community service in front of everyone, but in that class there's not a lot of people in it and I'm okay with most of them, so I hope it goes okay

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The first thing that I remember when I was in school every time a teacher said "I am gonna make groups to do presentations" I felt chill in my back and my hands started to sweat. Luckily for me I already finished school, I don't know how but I'm done with school. It is a good idea to focus your attention in one point, as KH84q said, this technique was very helpful for me, actually I never turned my head to see my classmates  :p

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I feel like that too when the teacher ever says there needs to be a presentation. I tried to remember all the advice that was given to me, but my anxiety got so high everything kind of just left my mind. For community service I wasn't allowed to just look at one point or the board, because we needed good eye contact so I just kind of let my eyes roam around the whole room not really focusing on anyone or anything and I guess it went better than I thought. When I got up there I felt my body start trembling and my voice was shaky and I stuttered and said "um" and "uh" a lot, but afterwards a girl in my class said that I did good and that even though I'm the quiet kid I actually talked loud enough for everyone to hear. For my shop thing my teacher let me do it after school so it was only me, him and my friend there so it was laid back and I had almost no trouble

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There, you see brit, all that anxious anticiaptaion when it was so unnecessary. I know it's not easy buy any means but we have to learn so that next time, and there will be a next time, you will be able to cope; to look forward to the event rather than be afraid of it. Oh yes you will, but give it time. You have taken a big leap forward now consolidate it by KNOWING your confidence is returning.   Good luck and well done.      Jon.

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Well done, Brit :)

"just kind of let my eyes roam around the whole room not really focusing on anyone or anything"

In my opinion, that's why it went well. You don't need to actually make eye contact with anyone in a presentation in order to appear as though you are making eye contact with the audience as a whole... because it is impossible to maintain eye contact with everyone at once! By looking around it appears as though you're addressing different people at different times in order to cover everybody. I trick I use is to look just above peoples' heads in order to keep the image of addressing the audience, but without actually looking into anybody's eyes.

Another important thing to remember is that the fear of public speaking is among the top 10 phobias, if not the top 5. It's incredibly common and even 'normal' people without social anxiety or any anxiety disorder get nervous doing public speaking. When presenting in front of other classmates just remind yourself that they might even be as nervous as you are about doing their presentation!

And it's really common to keep saying 'umm' and the like. I had lecturers at university who did that. In a Japanese oral exam I took once, I was actually given marks for hesitating in Japanese! Hesitation is normal, so we shouldn't worry about how we appear when we express our hesitation :)

EDIT: Another piece of advice: always treat yourself to something after making it through a presentation ;)

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I think school presentations are very important; there you learn to present your work, present everything briefly and to the point. You also need a good speech, you can write your speech at Edusson.com , I hope this helps you, I often find useful educational information there.

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