7 Public Speaking Tips for Teachers

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7 Public Speaking Tips for Teachers

Public speaking is integral to the routines of teachers. Teachers must address crowds on a regular basis, whether inside or outside the classroom. In fact, public speaking skills are essential for teachers to connect and engage with their students. Not all teachers, however, are comfortable speaking in front of an audience. Here are some tips to help teachers lecture with confidence.

Be prepared: Before presentations, teachers must be prepared and organized with the following:

  • Topic knowledge: A sound knowledge base is key to a strong presentation. Teachers must ensure that they are well versed with their topic for presentation, including all recent research and findings.
  • Materials: Teachers must have their presentation materials, such as cue cards and audio-visual aids, all ready to go. If possible, visit the venue beforehand as it can provide an image of the layout and aid in the process of setting up presentations.
  • Handling questions: When the question and answer session of the presentation is active, it means that the audience is engaging with the presentation. Teachers can anticipate questions that might be asked and be prepared with answers.

Use outlines: While it is natural for teachers to want to memorize their presentations, this may increase anxiety, as it is possible to miss out or forget lines. A well-organized outline containing all the points to be presented, along with ideas, examples and anecdotes can be more useful. Write a condensed version of the outline on cue cards to help deliver the presentation.

Practice: The key to a successful presentation is practice. Teachers can record their presentations on video and watch for errors in mode of delivery and for effective use of verbal and nonverbal communicative skills. Teachers can also rely on external feedback by practicing in front of colleagues, friends, and/or family, and modify presentations based on the feedback received.

Focus on Impact: While content is crucial, the style of delivery of presentations is also equally important. Teachers must remember to modulate their voices, emphasize key points, and use pauses, humor and personal experiences as needed to create an impact and hold the audience’s attention.

Warm up: Practice warm-up or relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, listening to songs, quick stretches or a brisk walk to relieve tension and to stimulate both body and mind.

Avoid stress: Trying to avoid making mistakes can be very stressful. Instead, teachers can relax and accept that although they might make mistakes, the goal is still to finish the presentation to the best of their abilities.

Learn from others: View videos on public speaking and presentations by others and learn from them. Teachers can learn a lot about body posture, use of gestures and other presentation details by watching others present.

Teachers can use these tips to remove their inhibitions about performing in public. Always remember to practice and participate in public events, as this can help build confidence and skill in these areas.


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