Speaking Jitters

Dear Jitters,

I need some advice on speaking in front of a group. At home I am so weird and I can talk 24/7, but when I come to school I’m a totally different person. I’m shy and when I talk in front of people I’m so nervous, I can’t even talk, and my eyesight gets blurry (I don’t know why). I need some advice on how I can let out my true potential and myself in front of an audience.

Signed, Nervous Wreck


Nervous Wreck,

       Hi friend! I see you’re rather uncomfortable speaking in front of multiple people. First of all, I hope you know you are by no means alone. You might be surprised by how many people feel exactly the way you do, especially in middle school. I applaud you for seeking help and being driven to unlock your “true potential” in public speaking! It is very important that you see value in your own abilities and are willing to improve. After all, speaking in front of groups is essential in school will more than likely be a very common occurrence in your future career. My suggestion for you would be to practice, practice, practice! The more familiar you become with your own voice and body language, the closer you will be to projecting your ideas to an audience exactly as you desire. This practice can be done by reading a book out loud in front of a mirror, performing an improvised skit in front of a pet or family member, or even telling friends a story. Once you get a good idea of your style (while in your comfort zone), you can further develop your skills by speaking to/in front of a larger crowd. Just remember, great things happen when you step outside of that comfort zone every once in a while. You may find yourself feeling much more relaxed (physically AND mentally) speaking in front of a group after some exposure to it.

You’ll blow them away, I’m sure of it!