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Non-mothertongue Presentation

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I fear public speaking.


I fear it. Since Febuary, I took on a presentation that will begin within a week. The time is near, and it has been distracting me for an entire month. I can't help but think about all the failures that I've once had using this language to speak in front of a class. Speaking in a foreign country's language (english) is very different from speaking in my own language during a presentation. If it's just my language, i really doubt i'd screw up. If I do, it's purely my own fault because I wasn't as prepared. I have so much more control using my own language as oppose to using English. And because i can control it, i am able to discern the techniques to which i am able to discern good from bad. For English, it's a completely different story. I don't have control over my language skills. I tend to pause in order to construct sentences, my grammar goes all over the place when i speak by instinct. I don't have a very stable foundation when it comes to the ability to speak properly. Presentation... is overburdening. I can hardly focus on my everyday task for the entire month. I've wasted a lot of time, energy and also caused myself a lot of stress worrying over this.


Structurally, my presentation is very perfect and very educational. I just wish someone else with better English skills can implement this and not me.

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I'm not sure what this presentation is for, but can you hand out brochures or anything to allow people to follow along despite these pauses you are worried about?


On a deeper note, the only way we get better at public speaking is by continuing to participate in it. And the only way we get over our fears is to face them, over and over again. So just look at every speech as a learning experience, and know that the next one will be even better. I admire your courage

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I get everything you say. I really do get it... I've taught swimming before; the fear i had dissipated after a few classes. This time is a bit different. It's a class setting with not 8, but a class full of students. In swimming, we keep our words direct and simple. In a class, we needed to explain, illustrate, and then more explanation. Maybe I want this to be unrealistically perfect and get the message accross with impact. But that's exactly what i wanted. Getting the message accross with impact, otherwise, there is no point doing this in the first place. I've also seen very very bad presentations before and I despise it, thinking that they waste my time. This unforgiving attitude i have is also what contributes to all these pressure. But that's exactly it too, i don't want this presentation to be a waste of time to the audience. I can potentially mess it up and become a waste of time if some things come up.


And now my logical self is going, stop imaging the worse scenario.


I don't know why, i feel the pain right now as I speak. Does what others think really mattered to me so much?? I've lived a life where i really do believe i don't care, but when it comes down to this, and how i may mess it up, i think about how people will see me.


It's weird.. i know if i use my logical mind to take a look at what i've just said, i'll not believe i said that. But this presentation stuff is frightening......

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spirits, I would try practicing your speech over and over again. That way you can get a feel for how it is going to sound. Also if you are having trouble pronouncing(saying the words correctly) words you can ask an English speaking person how to say it. I have spoken in public all my life and I still get nervous. I practice my speeches and I tend to do better when I do. Just a side note if you are standing behind a podium wear a rubber band to class and play with it as a way of getting out your nervous energy. Hope this helps and Good Luck with your presentation.

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I can pronounce well. Fluency is what i worry about.


You guys are right about practicing. I just gotta figure out how I can put myself in an environment that gives me more chances for that to happen.


I can never practice in solo. It's too weird to be talking to yourself and there are no good feedbacks. So I might consider practicing with people i don't know, SOON.


Thanks, and if you got anymore to add, please do so.

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Well, time for my little update. I went today and it went alright. I expected my presentation to be 30minutes but i only had 20 minutes to present it. Since this post is about fluency, i will tell you that there was a point where i malfunctioned for 15 seconds, but everything went alright afterwards.


Alea and Coffeegirl, i didn't quite have the chance to practice on my family or friends. But I did approach many strangers and ask if they would listen to my presentation just to polish up my wording and consolidate what I had to teach. At first, the approach was kind of scary, but those who agreed to listen were all very understanding and friendly.

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