Panic, Preparation, Practice, and Panache, Part 1

Panic, Preparation, Practice, and Panache, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.97

     challenging words:    panache, understandable, unplanned, well-prepared, stylish, distinctive, responsibility, focus, poorly, highly, elegance, personality, assignment, public, prompt, preparation
     content words:    You HATE, United States President

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Panic, Preparation, Practice, and Panache, Part 1
By Beth Beutler

1     The time has come. You've avoided it as long as you could. You've been given an assignment to give a speech in front of the class. You are already trembling. You HATE public speaking! Well, you are not alone. It is said that many people are more afraid of having to speak in public than they are of dying!
2     However, your teacher has given you the assignment, and you have to do it or get an F. So, honestly, if you are more afraid of failing than of the speech, you've already made a step in the right direction!
3     There are many concepts about preparing and presenting a speech. In this article, we will first cover how to deal with the fear of speaking. That is very important because if you can learn to handle that, a lot of the other necessities, like preparation, practice and panache (distinctive and stylish elegance), will become more enjoyable.
4     So, let's think about why we are so afraid of speaking in public. As we consider each fear, let's take a logical look at how we can overcome it.
5     1. People won't like my speech, or worse yet, me!
6     Unless you have sworn enemies in your audience, it's highly unlikely that people are hoping you will do poorly. It's helpful to remember that the individuals are there because they either have to do a speech themselves later, or they want to hear your topic. In the first case, they may be too busy thinking of their own speech to worry much about yours. In the second, they are eager to see you do well because they are interested in your topic.
7     2. I'll be very embarrassed if I mess up.
8     One way to overcome this fear is to not expect your speech to be perfect in the first place. Yes, you should prepare and be ready. However, no speech is perfect. There have been officials as high as the United States President who have twisted their words or said something that didn't make sense. Rather, make it a goal to have an understandable, inspiring speech that will prompt people to think, and maybe even change their thinking, about your topic. Expect yourself to do well, not perfectly, and you'll reduce the pressure on yourself.
9     If you happen to do something embarrassing, you can just keep going, or make a little fun of yourself. Audiences like to laugh. They will relax more if you laugh at yourself, should something unplanned happen.

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