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Welcome fellow debaters!!

Tips on how to manage speech anxiety

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"Fear always springs from ignorance." - Emerson

  1. Matterload- It will be easier for a speaker and it will boost his/her confidence if that speaker mastered the subject before the actual speech.
  2. Rehearse-Practicing speeches in front of a mirror or with companions will help you get over the fear of making mistakes. Practice makes perfect, as they say.
  3. Replace filler words/speech crutches- A speaker becomes less credible and more nervous when she/he stutters. Practice is one solution to this problem. In debate,however, longer filler words such as " Mr. chair and members of this house" or " Ladies and gentlemen" are often used to cover for dead air. This is proper, though (in my personal view) annoying and would also result to a less credible speaker when overdone. The best known solution is to pause for less than 5 seconds and collate your ideas. After that, resume to your speech.
  4. Condition yourself before the speech- Set the proper mood for your speech.  Do everything you could to calm your nerves to reduce the chances of panicking on the podium.
  5.  Don't be dependent on templates- Some speakers concentrate too much on their manuals or handouts that they don't know what to say when they take their eyes off it. A good speech is conversational and casual. Remeber, your main goal is to make everybody understand you and sound believable (and not to sound impressive! This will just be a bonus if you do sound casual). 

So the next time you get the jitters for public speking, remember these guidelines and you'll never think you could over come your fear...

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