The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South students learn methods to combat fear of public speaking

By Diana Silva/reporter

Some students are afraid to give speeches in front of a class, often getting sweaty hands and faster heartbeats when presenting to their classmates, said Christopher Carcerano, academic success center coordinator on South Campus.

Carcerano talked about students’ fears of public speaking and ways to conquer those fears in a conversation last week. Not all fear is bad because it can bring a person’s energy level up, he said.

“Everybody gets stage fright, and it never goes away,” he said.

But it should not overcome what someone is doing, he added.

Derek Bammel, a NE Campus student who is taking a public speaking class, said he has experienced the fear of speaking in front of his classmates.

“I get extremely nervous, and my heart starts racing,” Bammel said. “I get nervous that something will happen, but it all goes away once I’m up there.”

To deal with his fear, Bammel said he tries telling himself that no one will judge him and begins the speech with something funny to help ease the tension.

“It helps me bring out part of my personality, but it helps not thinking too hard about it,” he said.

Andrea Bonilla, who takes theater classes on SE Campus, said she also feels nervous when she’s performing on a stage.

“I feel so nervous, adrenaline rushing in and I stutter a lot,” she said. “I shake my hands, close my eyes and pray.”

What also helps Bonilla, she said, is keeping in mind that everyone else performing with her is just as nervous as she is, and that makes her feel more calm.

Smiling can help students feel less nervous, too, Carcerano said.

“People will smile back at you,” he said.

Students can also try physically stretching out before a speech to remove tension.

Other tips Carcerano offered included using controlled breathing, which uses oxygen to control the heart rate. He also suggested that people close their eyes for a few moments before they start to speak to block external distractions.

“Do not put anything in your mouth,” he said. “Instead, grab something in your hands to get relaxed.”

Students should practice their speeches in front of people they trust or in front of a mirror.

Bonilla said she always rehearses before a speech, an audition or an acting scene.

“I prepare really good before going out there, so that gives me confidence and knowing,” she said.

But Bammel doesn’t practice every speech.

“Practicing is not necessary, but if I practice, then I know the routine and feel much better about myself,” he said.

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