This image reflects my preparation for the presentation really well. This cute comic shows how I made the powerpoint, made the really long and overly detailed cheat sheet and then didn’t know where to go next. I think I relied too heavily on the cheat sheet the first presentation, and then my second presentation I tried to just go through without it. I need to find a balance between me talking at the class from a script, and me floundering my way through it. I’m not comfortable presenting. Can I do it? Yes. But I would be less nervous if I had a smaller group, or was just tutoring someone. Being nervous can be both good and bad for presenting. It can be debilitating or make you relatable.
I googled presentation anxiety and found some good advice from Forbes, an article called Four Ways to Quiet Your Presentation Anxiety. The first rule is to not be so self centered. So first, I need to change the shift from thinking about me to thinking more about the audience. A lot of the time when I’m presenting I’m focused on myself to make sure I’m not stuttering, sweating profusely, shaking, or showing any other signs of nervousness. Instead of focusing on my distracting anxiety, I should focus on what the students need to hear, if they are receiving the information, and if they understand. Their second rule is finding the best way to rehearse. I don’t think I’ve found the best way to rehearse. Trying to explain the information to my friends isn’t helping me flow through the slides. Between now and Friday I’m definitely going to be talking to myself a lot, and hoping I can improvise when I’m with the students. Their last bit of advice really hits home: Think Connection, Not Perfection. I can’t feel so embarrassed about every little mistake. Does it matter if I mess up as long as the students are having fun?
USF College of Education also has a helpful page for Speaker’s Anxiety. It addresses that I may be thinking catastrophically, or spending too much time thinking about the bad things that happen. I mean, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Some high school kids think I’m lame? Ha, like that hasn’t happened before. I’ll survive.
After all this about my nerves, I do feel ready to teach. Maybe I’m not but I’d rather just dive in and see how it goes. I’m going to be nervous no matter how long I’ve practiced and prepared, so I should just go for it. I can turn my nervous energy into excited energy. So, I’m really excited to meet the students and get them as excited as I am about carbon. I’m more nervous about the teacher or administrator being present when I’m teaching than actually interacting with the students. I need to impress them and do a good job so that school participates again.
I really enjoyed Siobhan’s presentation. No matter how she feels inside, she looks relaxed and in control. Her presentation flows really well, and that’s something I should work on.