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Conway
29-01-08, 15:31
I'm in dire need of help/encouragement. This Thursday, I'm about to host one of the biggest events in our college (one of the six colleges in uni) this year, which is to be held in the second biggest auditorium in campus, which means I'm pretty much going to be speaking in front of almost a thousand people on stage. :yik:

I've done some hosting gigs in the past in school, but never for really big events like the one our college is going to have on Thursday. I'm afraid I might screw things up, mispronounce things, mix up the program, and not only embarrass myself, but also the people who appointed me to get the job done.

I dearly apologize for sounding so needy, but I'd really appreciate it if you folk can share with me some ways to counter anxieties like this, how to overcome stress and nervousness, and how to keep focus AND sense once I'm up on stage.

Oh, and for those fashionably-inclined around here, it'd be nice if you could give me some fashion do's and dont's for my attire for the event. It's some sort of awards night with an inter-batch singing/dancing competition mixed in. I'm supposed to wear semi-formal, and I'm tired of the usual long-sleeved polo and black slacks get-up. :p

Thanks in advance.

myrmaad
29-01-08, 15:50
First of all, I personally would like to "see you" in a suit. Nothing says serious confidence like a man in a sharp suit. Lots of ways to wear a great suit, with or without a tie. I would not opt for a non-matching jacket. Looks kind of cheap to me.. :( sorry if it's too much. Every man should have at least one great suit.

If you feel good and confidant about how you look, (since you'll be the focus of attention) you're more likely to relax and concentrate on delivering a great performance.

After that:
Be Yourself, be Genuine.
Lighten the mood with a funny remark that fits the context and is actually funny.
SMILE
Don't focus on any one face in the audience but make sure you look out (and over) the audience -- Do not stare at your feet.
Be loose, not tense.
Speak up -- make sure you can be heard clearly.
If you start getting nervous remember you have friends out there!

I've always found that I'm nervous before I get on stage but once I'm walking out there I just go with it and flow with it, and forget all about being nervous just focusing on my "message".

If it helps emulate someone you admire, or what has worked for me "act like someone who is not nervous."

Laurencarter
29-01-08, 19:58
Stay away from Diary products and sugar 2 days beforehand. It's not good for your voice.

Humm your favourite song or listen to it before you go on. It will relax you.

Bumio
29-01-08, 20:05
step on stage and try to imagine that everyone is naked :cln:
that should help to forget ur fear :p

myrmaad
29-01-08, 20:07
The truth is, though, that one never worked for me. Which is actually quite funny. :pi:

God Horus
29-01-08, 20:13
Make sure you speak up. When you are nervous, you speak quietly, but SPEAK UP! Don't try to imagine people in there underwear. When I did this I started laughing, then chocked and had to get a drink of water (true story).

You will be INCREDIBLY nervous at first. but after a few minutes it'll be fine.

And you most likely will get incredibly sweaty. :p

USP
29-01-08, 20:17
Just laugh
Keep a good sense of humor
Thats the trick to anything

Earthcane
29-01-08, 20:21
Whatever you do, DON'T look at all those eyes watching your every move.
Thousands of eyes all fixed upon you....

Lol, joking :mis:

I'm sure you'll do fine Conway, you seem really down-to earth from your posts and
I'm sure the type of guy that's pretty good with this sort of situation.

Can't really offer you any new advice to add to those wise words of the wonderful
Myrmaad, but I offer you my words of encouragement instead.
Best of luck, mate. :tmb:

(ps: the chicks digg a man in a powerful position like this :mis: )

Sir Croft
29-01-08, 20:35
You will feel very anxious before, but when you step on the stage you will start feeling better, just focus on what you have to do, speak up like God Horus said and everything will be ok! The stage is your friend, dude! :D
I remember my acting teacher used to say that, you can't be affraid of the audience, if you get affraid of the audience, it will eat you. So you really need to calm down and do what you're suposed to do. Also do some rehearsal one or two days before the event. :)

george_croft
29-01-08, 20:38
Err, well, don't imagine everyone naked. It can get distracting and awkward.:pi:

scion05
29-01-08, 20:38
and, if you're a lad, very large :whi:

Earthcane
29-01-08, 20:41
^^ Hee hee.

Just don't forget your trousers, Conway :eek:

ThomasCroft
29-01-08, 20:53
The best advice I can give you (having done youth public speeches for a few years now) is to be prepared. As long as you know what you are going to say, the risk of you stuttering and spluttering on stage is decreased. In addition, it is a good idea to practice your delivery, so you have a chance to perfect it and work out what works and what doesn't. It's good to remember that if you do make a mistake, carry on and don't dwell on it; the chances are people won't have noticed, and if you concentrate too much on a blip that occurred it could affect the rest of your delivery. Try and be positive about the experience as well: it's a chance to be noticed and make a really good impression - trust me, you feel really good about yourself once you get off stage and everyone's patting you on the back. And seriously - perhaps most importantly - don't worry about it to an extreme! Nerves are absolutely natural, but don't become obsessed over it, because I can guarantee you it won't be as bad as you might think. Also, if you become a nervous wreck the audience will sense it and it will definitely make them awkward - try to be relaxed, composed and confident. Basically, follow everyone else's advice and you should be fine.

Oh ... and DO NOT imagine the crowd as naked. It doesn't work, it only makes you hysterical.

Tombraine
29-01-08, 20:59
Nothing says serious confidence like a man in a sharp suit.

Whenever I wear a suit I look like some type of Italian mobster lol. Most of the advice so far has been pretty good. Not sure I can add much more but to agree with rehearsing your stuff beforehand. As someone who tends to have trouble just talking to people on a normal level sometimes.. I find if I go at it with confidence and really believe that what IM saying is right, the conversation kinda flows naturally afterwards. Just look at it as a conversation and you have the control and what YOUR saying is right. Confidence I find is key. Plus it may help you speak clearer :)

Quasimodo
29-01-08, 21:54
Some pointers...
-All public speakers make mistakes. Don't pause and blush, just carry on ; if you act like it's no big deal, most of the audience won't think it's a big deal, either.

-Get psyched about what you're going to talk about. You want to share this information with others. You're happy to spread the word.

-How many speeches or public speakers (other than politicians) can you recall? Of those, can you remember any mistakes they made? Unless you strip naked and streak across the stage screaming obscenities, I doubt you'll make a mistake big enough to have a lasting impression on peoples' memories.

-Many audience members will likely have several other things on their minds (Where's my car keys? Why didn't my bf/gf call me? How am I ever going to finish that paper on time? Does my hair look OK? I really need to fart but I'm in a crowd! :P ). The number of people actually paying attention is smaller than the total audience.

-Most importantly, remember you will live after this. Life will resume as usual!

thecentaur
29-01-08, 22:13
what you do is pretend that you're talking to your friends. it won't be that awkward when you imagine it that way. i present in front of at least one of my classes once every two weeks. i also have drama class so that means i am coached into performing in front of audiences. also, pretend that you're a teacher. when you speak in front of your audience, think that you are tutoring them or telling them what's true and what's not.

oh, and to get the voice of a good speaker, deeply think of something that hurt you emotionally (eg, breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend) and speak out like you would if you get the chance to see someone associated with that thought. you would normally feel like wanting to throw the podium at someone, but you will understand that you can eventually keep your cool and it won't be that awkward :D

Capt. Murphy
29-01-08, 23:54
Rehearse, rewrite (copy) what you're going to say, or link the ideas of the speech in way that is easy to remember. Use notes if you have to. Take it slow. Don't feel anxious, I know that's just easy to say, but almost anyone else in the audience would be as nervous as you (or more so) if they had to bear your responsibility. Be proud of your comission, your duty that no one else was given the opportunity to do. Again, rehearse, and when it comes time to do it - Psych yourself out! Don't go it like a lamb to the slaughter, make believe YOU ARE THE LION! and this thing is for YOU to slaughter... and mercilessly! :mis:

I hope this gives you some inspiration. :cln:

If you did make any mistakes just laugh about it later. No one is perfect, and no one will laugh you off stage if you mess up in the slightest way. The only way out is success and to finish it.

vespertea
30-01-08, 00:55
Err, well, don't imagine everyone naked. It can get distracting and awkward.:pi:

I second that notion.

coolezpunk
30-01-08, 01:01
Here are some tips to overcome stage fright
(or not mess up): :)

Before the speech...
1. Drink water before the speech. Your mouth might become really dry, so might your throat, so it's better to start drinking water.
2. Relax. Calm down by praying or meditating before the speech. Deep breathing, and thinking positive helps, too.

While doing your speech:
3. Focus on only what you're doing/saying. Quit thinking things in your head like, "Oh no! What if I mess up?", or "Oh my gosh! There's so many people!" Things like these are the main reasons why you could mess up during a speech.
4. *Imagine the whole crowd as one person. Imagine the audience as one huge, massive fat person, and you're only talking to him. It might calm you down!
5. Use humor. Unless the speech is something about really serious, there's no other way to break the ice than telling a few jokes! :)

* - just a suggestion

GOOD LUCK! :tmb:

Conway
30-01-08, 01:26
Thanks for your advice and words of encouragement, everyone! :hug:

@ myrmaad: About donning a suit, I think I might be a tad overdressed for the event if I do, but I have seen people wearing suits without ever appearing too formal for, say, a stroll in the city. I'll see if my brother has suits that fit me. :D

Anyhow, I think being myself has worked in my favor for most occassions, which means blurting things out out of the blue or you could say being spontaneous. However, when I feel like the nervousness takes over me, the spontaneity just evaporated into thin air, words just won't come out, making everything seem calculated, forced, unnatural. *sigh*

Yeah, I guess it's really the pressure of being under the spotlight and at the same time being the one responsible for the show's smooth flow. So yes, I guess as per your suggestions, I might just visualize the audience as a whole different thing, as if they weren't there, or as if I was just talking to my little brother. :o

Really, thanks for the words of encouragement, everyone. All your advice are of great help! :tmb:

rowanlim
30-01-08, 01:42
Conway, the reason you're going up there is because people believe you can do it. So you should also believe in yourself. First, write down what message you want people to know from your speech. Second, prepare the key points. If you focus on going on word by word, it'll be tough & nerve wracking. As long as you know what you want them to know, then you don't need any paper etc.

Good luck Conway. Have faith in yourself! :tmb: :hug:

Conway
30-01-08, 14:06
Conway, the reason you're going up there is because people believe you can do it. So you should also believe in yourself. First, write down what message you want people to know from your speech. Second, prepare the key points. If you focus on going on word by word, it'll be tough & nerve wracking. As long as you know what you want them to know, then you don't need any paper etc.

Good luck Conway. Have faith in yourself! :tmb: :hug:
:hug: Thanks a lot Rowanlim.

Hope everything turns out well, and again, thanks for all your advice. :tmb:

dinahcat
30-01-08, 14:12
Wear a dark shirt or a shirt and Jacket if you get sweaty. It will hide any sweat marks!

I love public speaking, but need to wear dark shirts...:D

Conway
01-02-08, 14:21
Sorry for being the egotistic guy that I am, but here, thought I'd share a couple o'snaps of the event. Got some good feedback, and that's thanks to the great advice and encouragement from you guys. :hug:

http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/9452/dsc05404bm0.jpg

Up on stage

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/146/dsc04655ol6.jpg

Me and my partner. :D

You guys be the judge of what I wore. I'm not really sure if it ended up nicely. :pi:

Earthcane
01-02-08, 14:51
What you wore is was perfect for the occasion. Well matched outfit :tmb:
You look very smexy :cln:

Plus, you're one lucky guy, Conway ^^ :mis:

Glad to know it went well for you :tmb::tmb:

Conway
01-02-08, 14:52
What you wore is was perfect for the occasion. Well matched outfit :tmb:
You look very smexy :cln:

Plus, you're one lucky guy, Conway ^^ :mis:

Glad to know it went well for you :tmb::tmb:
Well, I wish I was that lucky, but unfortunately, she was only my hosting partner for the night. :o Thanks, Earthcane! :tmb:

myrmaad
01-02-08, 15:06
Darn, she's hot. (And you two look good together.)

Well anyway, You looked Great, Nicely Casual yet Business Smart. Very professional.

Congratulations!!

Earthcane
01-02-08, 15:07
Well, I wish I was that lucky, but unfortunately, she was only my hosting partner for the night. :o Thanks, Earthcane! :tmb:
Hosting parter- Oh, I see, It's like that, is it? :mis:

(j/k) :p

Conway
01-02-08, 15:17
Darn, she's hot. (And you two look good together.)

Well anyway, You looked Great, Nicely Casual yet Business Smart. Very professional.

Congratulations!!
Yeah, she is, isn't she? :o And thanks! I wore a necktie during the actual event, although you can't really see it clearly in the first picture. Really appreciate it, myrmaad. I understand you're also a teacher, yeah? Just a point of information.

Hosting parter- Oh, I see, It's like that, is it? :mis:

(j/k) :p
:smk:

Wait, I just have to do it again...

:smk:

:p

Nah, I have too much respect for her to think that way. :o

Earthcane
01-02-08, 15:29
^^ Better to keep it strictly as a professional working relationship, I guess ;)

@ Myrmaad: Never knew you were a teacher, cool :tmb:

myrmaad
01-02-08, 15:36
No, that's the rest of the family! I'm a student! I'd elaborate but I have a class!

The only thing I can think of us is that I mentioned I have a LOT of teachers in my family: grandmother, great-aunt, aunts, an uncle, cousin, niece. I worked as a teacher's assistant when I first attended college back in the early 80s, and I went back to school a couple of years ago to pursue a career change. But I don't teach, and definitely don't plan on it. Not for me. I need to be a rebel.

rowanlim
01-02-08, 15:49
Wow conway...you look great...looked like it went well!! :tmb: :)

Conway
01-02-08, 16:30
No, that's the rest of the family! I'm a student! I'd elaborate but I have a class!
Later then. :p

Wow conway...you look great...looked like it went well!! :tmb: :)
:hug: Thanks, rowanlim. Appreciate it.