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Post Thesis Thoughts/How I Prepare for Public Speaking

Academics

Post Thesis Thoughts/How I Prepare for Public Speaking

I did it. I wrote it. I presented it. I defended it. I am done. If you have read some of my previous articles, you probably know that I wrote my theater thesis on Star Wars and Aristotle’s elements of drama. It was a long task-heavy process, but I did it. Looking back on the day of my presentation, I figured out how to prepare for a half hour presentation.

A few days before my presentation, I felt extremely nervous presenting in front of an audience for the first time. I did not know if they would understand me, but the audience gave me some good pointers which ultimately helped my presentation. Because I knew I was nervous in the practice presentation, I knew I had to make sure I was bold, strong, and confident with my presentation.

Once I woke up, I knew I had to eat the best breakfast I could, which ended up being peanut butter, eggs, and a veggie burger. I know that if I eat too many carbs, I tend to feel sleepy, and I did not want that to happen so I made sure to stick to vegetables and proteins.

Then I had to be physically warmed up. I heard before that if you make yourself look as small as possible, you will probably act shy and nervous. Wait a second. I made myself look as small as possible during the practice run through. I was nervous and tried to over-explain everything.

Before one of the shows I acted in earlier this semester, we would start with a physical warm up of stretching and cardio. So I did the stretching exercises we began with, and then I had a dance party in my room with the door shut as the cardio. Jumping around like a lunatic to Reel Big Fish’s cover of “Take on Me” was a great way to get blood pumping and build extroverted confidence. I was ready to present.

When presenting, I made sure that I explained everything in the most concise way I could. The people who showed up said I did a good job, and then it was time for me to defend the thesis. That was a scary part. I would be asked questions I did not prepare to answer in a job interview like fashion. I was brought into the room and I was asked questions. I made sure to ask to clarify if the wording confused me, and if the question did not address my research, I would make sure to say that my research did not address the question but I still did my best to answer it.

When the professors let me know how well I did, I learned that I did a good job. The healthy breakfast, stretching, and one man dance party paid off. That is how I prepare for public speaking and intimidating interviews.

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