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Hey there,

So at the moment I'm currently writing a speech based on 'Pre-Raphaelite poetry' (wow so interesting) for my advanced English class, and came across the thought that public speaking should most certainly not be a forced event in schools. Why is it that kids are forced to stand in front of a group of people to try and speak about something that means nothing to them?

I have had, so far, three anxiety attacks over this speech. I personally do not believe that forcing a student to step extremely far out of their comfort zone is going to 'help build beneficial skills for adulthood'. Generally I think it's pretty fair to say that this, instead, actually causes genuine and serious trauma for some people. Shocker.

If one can be excused of gym class for a physical health injury/illness, why is it that one can not be excused of public speaking due to a mental health illness? Unfortunately, mental health problems are in no way considered to be as important as physical health problems in the eyes of many.

I understand that there is a clear line between 'slightly nervous', and genuine anxiety. This is why I believe students should be able to give their teacher an 'excuse' from a mental healthcare professional who knows what's best for them mentally and emotionally (again, very similar to physical injuries/illnesses).

So I want to know - what's your opinion on the whole public speaking thing? Do you believe that public speaking should be compulsory in schools? Did/do you find it difficult to present in front of a group of people? Why do you think public speaking can be so difficult for people?

I look forward to reading your responses,
 

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I don't think it should be mandatory. It's stupid. Many people have delayed or just not gotten their degrees because of this. That means lower paying jobs and consequentially lower tax revenue for the government. Lots of social implications from this as well. People who don't have degrees are less likely to be married which can affect housing, having kids, etc. And I think it's harder if you're an INxx because you're most likely to have grown up feeling different than everybody else while if you're an SJ, it's highly likely you grew up around people just like you and feel that you are with "you're people".
 

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Dude I had serious problems getting up and speaking in class and still would today. It's an anomaly, and one people don't respect. I preferred it if we were required to submit a video on the subject.

That said, if you're willing to eat your dignity, going and speaking to the prof...oh wait, you said *advanced* English, which means you're in high school. Well, damn. Tough shit. Still, try, anyway. Explain that this is not some normal kind of nervousness that people get over.
 

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If I were to start listing the things I wish weren't mandatory in school we would be here a long time. For me, there was a point where my will snapped and now I just accept that life isn't what you want it to be - best to suck it up keep moving and try to focus on the things that you do enjoy rather than the misery you are forced to live with.

Yes, I was always petrified by public speaking. Like so many, I would have rather killed myself. I never had a mental breakdown, cried while presenting or ran out of the room..... but it was still miserable (although we both know that the word miserable doesn't begin to describe it). However, once I figured out how to actually give a speech (and then proceeded to give a billion speeches) I began enjoying the process. Now, I still get kind of nervous, but there is something magical about being in the zone of giving a presentation. There is such a powerful connection between you and the audience that doesn't exist any other time.

*insert joke* 1 simple trick helped this man become a public speaking master! Students hate him!

Why is it difficult? Maybe we're just afraid of looking stupid and being judged?

Life is a difficult proposition. Like I said, I would have rather died than be forced to give speeches. But after a lifetime of it (starting from childhood and reaching to early 20's) I have grown to enjoy it and it has become one of my greatest personal assets. There are many things we initially detest which eventually end up working in our favor. But on the other hand, there are legitimately some things that will only continue to bring us down. It is so difficult to know where the line is. In your case, will you be irreparably damaged from having to give speeches or will it actually improve your life in some way? It's so hard to know.

But anyway, the thing that helped me get over it was just writing out my speeches word for word. I never thought of it before because every f'ing teacher in the world says "don't read it, just give it extemporaneously" ... as if a kid who has never really stood in front of a room of people could possibly give a f'ing speech extemporaneously and do a good job. Sheesh! Anyway, like I said, I started writing them out word for word and then memorized them verbatim. I made sure to write them conversationally so it would sound more like I was speaking than reciting. Then I would just go and give it. Also, I would bring the written sheet with me in case I needed to reference. And, in the event that I forgot it entirely, I would just start reading off it. I have never needed to read off of it due to nervousness, only laziness. Even then, I have found that none of my professors care. They are much more impressed that the presentation is actually cohesive, intelligible and impactful. Using this method took almost all of the edge off of presenting because even if you forget everything you memorized, if you bring your printed copy with you, you can literally just start reading it. Presto! Failproof! Eventually I got to the point where it takes almost no time to memorize - maybe 30 minutes - and I am comfortable enough that I can occasionally ad-lib content on the fly. I have found this increases the effectiveness of the presentation noticeably. But, once again, this is only after having given dozens of presentations.
 

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Yeah, public speaking is the worst. I'd much rather write a short report or essay on the subject than discuss it with the class. (It's more easy and time-efficient that way.) I remember last year, for our final, the Phys. Ed required us to teach a sport right in front of the class. God, that was extremely embarrassing (luckily, my partner and I got an A on that project). I think the reason he conjured up that plan was because he wanted the students to know how hard it is to do his job. (Although, he'll always be a creep to me and the rest of my peers.)

Overall, public speaking shouldn't be required. If it's one of the triggers for mental illness, then why can't the affected have an excuse to not do public speaking? Like the above posts, it doesn't seem to be the best way to persuade a kid to "step out of their comfort zone," if it gives them genuine fear.
 

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UGH. Ugggghhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I'm terrified of public speaking. The only thing that those presentations taught me is exactly how my anxiety progresses when faced with a looming presentation. Granted, once I get over the beginning and get into a kind of...zone, I at least stop stuttering and blanking on what to say, which I attribute to being an Ne-dom (and I just now realized that this is the INTP forum)...but even then, it's too fast and usually a little too chaotic to constitute an effective presentation. But at least people can appreciate me appearing genuinely interested in what I'm saying? Or at least, that's what one of my friends told me. -shrug-

My worst experience was my graduation speech. UGH. Why did I let myself cave in to pressure and trick myself into thinking that I needed to get out of my comfort zone and that that was the thing to do it with. Ughughugh. I guess it went okay - a lot of people came up to me afterwards and said they loved my speech - but I was so anxious and jittery for the like 30 minutes leading up to it, and for weeks afterward I couldn't stop thinking about it. Invasive, disruptive, incessant thoughts...I had trouble falling asleep during that time. Even now anything related to graduation immediately brings back some of that anxiety...(The reaction's manageable, but it's still a bother.)

Do you believe that public speaking should be compulsory in schools?
I think practice with public speaking is useful, but only in the right environment. Some people are okay with the environment of a school classroom but for those who aren't, it's more harmful than helpful. I think there should be less pressure on and more leniency on people who are in that category.

Did/do you find it difficult to present in front of a group of people?
Depends on the group. If it's in front of friends, I don't feel as nervous. I also realized after my grad speech that it's not as hard to speak in front of a group of people that's so large that everyone just blends together.

Why do you think public speaking can be so difficult for people?
I have had self-esteem and affirmation issues since I was very young, so I imagine that has something to do with it in my case. I've also just never been good at speaking (not just presentations, but speaking generally) as far as I can remember.
 

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Horrible. Absolutely horrible. A few years ago I had to give a speech. I stopped midway and couldn't even force myself to read a text which was in my hands all the time. Unfortunately, this year I have a subject which is all about presentations from memory. I don't speak clearly and my voice trembles in situations like that. I also feel hopeless. Negative thoughts distract me from what I'm supposed to do. It isn't easy to fight against depressing attitude and talk like a confident orator at the same time, you know. Honestly, my mind goes crazy. There is that "You can do this, mistakes happen even to the best of us" part and "Worthless, just look at your stuttering and trembling voice, it sounds horrible, I bet they don't know what you're saying". Sooner or later I become quiet outside while inside I'm still fighting. My chances to keep going get lower with every second of break.

Why it doesn't work for me? Perhaps because I'm a perfectionist thus I prefer to focus on things which I can do and give my best. Speaking definitely isn't my strong side, even when I'm around people who know and like me. When I have to speak publically, I can't help but feel like a failure. It isn't about what others think about me. It's about failing my own expectations. If I bother to do something, I want to do it as good as possible. However, my presentations are closer to awful than perfect. My efforts to improve them are meaningless. I make them essentially polished but it doesn't matter as I can't utter it. I should start preparing my next presentation but just thinking about this makes me way too stressed. Where is the salutary power of practice? It doesn't seem to help me. In matter of fact, I think I get even more nervous with every presentation because I don't improve.
 

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I still remember the first time I ever had to give a public presentation in school. I was in the 4th grade giving a 5 minute presentation on my recent vacation to Sea World. I was absolutely terrified of the idea of getting in front of the class. But with the help of my parents, I was determined to make the best of it. I even made a visual aid--something that in hindsight was a fatal error on my part. When the time came to give my presentation I could barely get a word out and stuck to my note cards like glue. I was so nervous I kept unconsciously backing up eventually backing up into my visual aid knocking it down along with the tripod it was on. Of course the whole class laughed at me. And well maybe that wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't proceeded to do the same thing another 3-4 times after that. I did it so much that the teacher got the impression I was intentionally being the class clown and got frustrated with me. On a side note, my 4th grade teacher absolutely hated me, we had numerous antagonist encounters that year, but that's a story for another time haha. Eventually I got through the cursed presentation, which would mark a long road of public speaking anxiety and one presentation disaster after another in primary education.

What a horrible story you say? Well the story doesn't end there. Things came to a turning point in my battle over public speaking anxiety when I had to give a speech at my high school graduation. In a strange way, part of me was actually looking forward to it. I saw it as my chance to be like "I am INTP here me ROAR!" haha. My high school was an ESXJ paradise like most and where introversion meant you were flawed and undesirable and I wanted to let everyone know that they were wrong and that not everyone has to fit into that mold. I probably spent weeks writing practicing to give that speech and when the time came to speak to thousands of people, I nailed it. I was fortunate or unfortunate enough to be the first one to speak so no one was fully asleep yet so maybe just maybe someone heard what I was saying. I actually went over my allotted time and at one point in the graduation video you can see one of the faculty rise to get up thinking my speech was over only to have me continue on for a few more minutes and you can see her slide back down into her seat haha.

After that I was determined to conquer this anxiety of public speaking. In college, I actually minored in speech communications. Every class in that specialization was mostly presentations. Sounds crazy for an INTP who has public speaking anxiety right? Well I did it and eventually I got to the point where while I still had that nervous energy, I could use it to give speeches extemporaneously with little to no preparation. Thanks to my procrastination and developing Ne, towards the end of college, I would often completely wing speeches off the top of my head with little to no preparation.

I haven't been in a position to give a public presentation for quite a while. But now I know I have the ability, the prospect doesn't bother me as much. If an INTP like me can do it, any INTP can conquer their public speaking anxiety. INTPs can do anything we put our minds to as long as we put the effort into doing so. The trick is finding that motivation or energy either from an internal or external source to propel us forward. ~gasps~ I know it's a horrible thing for us to do, but sometimes it must be done haha.
 

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Speak to your teacher about presenting. I've known some teachers who are super understanding and won't force a student to speak in front of their peers if it causes them anxiety.

1. I have no real opinions of it.

2. No, I don't believe it should be. I can see some use for developing the skills to do presentations later on in life however.

3. Yes I do find it difficult.

4. I suggest reading this page, it may or may not be helpful. Here.
Also, personal tip, before you start the presentation let your peers know that your nervous. They'll most likely give you some sympathetic smiles which can help you, subconsciously, feel more at ease.
 

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During my last year of High School, we ended up having to do a senior project. (Jokes on me because we were the last grade to do it.)

Basically, we have to validate 20 work hours outside of school towards a charity, (No less than twenty or you failed) write a six-page essay on a current world issue, (No more, no less or you failed) and then condense that six page essay into six slides and relate your problem to the charity work you did. (No more, no less or you failed.)

You then read the presentation in front of a panel of three unfamiliar judges and if you don't get 100% you failed. All of high school.

I ended up having to go to the doctors a day before just to get some drugs to keep me from passing out.


The funny thing was: The problem that I chose was about how America only accepts A-type personalities and leaves behind the introverts.

I think it helped my case, because I was able to express myself in relation to my subject. They saw that I tried my damnedest.
------

It's hard, but I think public speaking should be mandatory. (Maybe not so much that you're high school diploma falls on it.) We can't expect people to exclude us from projects just because we're shy.

I do think that a teacher should be sympathetic with you when you do present, though. I had a teacher who required a doctors note every time I presented JUST so I could take my drugs. It was obvious I had bad anxiety as I hardly ever made it to school, but he always insisted.
 

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The funny thing was: The problem that I chose was about how America only accepts A-type personalities and leaves behind the introverts.

I think it helped my case, because I was able to express myself in relation to my subject. They saw that I tried my damnedest.
lol, good idea. Only, I think A type personalities can be introverts. It's more related to J vs. P in my opinion. By the way, I found this amazing table online about how many of each expression of function pairings there are:




INTPs have the double whamy of NT and IP being expressed the least.
 
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Hey there,

So at the moment I'm currently writing a speech based on 'Pre-Raphaelite poetry' (wow so interesting) for my advanced English class, and came across the thought that public speaking should most certainly not be a forced event in schools. Why is it that kids are forced to stand in front of a group of people to try and speak about something that means nothing to them?

I have had, so far, three anxiety attacks over this speech. I personally do not believe that forcing a student to step extremely far out of their comfort zone is going to 'help build beneficial skills for adulthood'. Generally I think it's pretty fair to say that this, instead, actually causes genuine and serious trauma for some people. Shocker.

If one can be excused of gym class for a physical health injury/illness, why is it that one can not be excused of public speaking due to a mental health illness? Unfortunately, mental health problems are in no way considered to be as important as physical health problems in the eyes of many.

I understand that there is a clear line between 'slightly nervous', and genuine anxiety. This is why I believe students should be able to give their teacher an 'excuse' from a mental healthcare professional who knows what's best for them mentally and emotionally (again, very similar to physical injuries/illnesses).

So I want to know - what's your opinion on the whole public speaking thing? Do you believe that public speaking should be compulsory in schools? Did/do you find it difficult to present in front of a group of people? Why do you think public speaking can be so difficult for people?

I look forward to reading your responses,
It stretches you and makes you uncomfortable, I am okay with it because it is a growth opportunity. I take stressful situations and look for opportunities to be a better person though. Its all about perspective. You view it as an uncomfortable negative experience and it will be one for you.
 
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lol, good idea. Only, I think A type personalities can be introverts. It's more related to J vs. P in my opinion.

I definitely think they can, but their introversion is usually closeted to make it seem like they're confident. Introverted = shy and quiet in this context.

My main reference for my essay was this Ted Talk made by Susan Cain (Susan Cain: The power of introverts | Talk Video | TED.com) and her book Quiet.

If you were interested, that is!
 

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I don't know what it's like to have real strong anxiety about public speaking, but I do get nervous.

In the past, I got over the nervous threshold to bring myself to just do it by observing other people who had to present as well. I always thought that they had the same nervous feeling as I did and they were not better than me (and I was no better than them, but I do often forget this and become arrogant when I let this mentality leak outside of a public speaking environment). Just knowing that we were +/- equals allowed me to let the nerves go. I am my own worst enemy in this sense because the only thing I need to overcome is my own mental state.

I don't know how applicable this is for overcoming anxiety attacks, though. I think my problem was self-confidence rather than what you are describing. Either way, I hope this helps and you're able to do what you want to do.

Edit: In that Brene Brown vulnerability TED talk, Brown asked the audience something along the lines of "who here in the audience thought that the speakers up here were weak?" and really nobody thinks that is true. What the audience actually thought was that the speakers were brave for doing what they did. If you conquer your own self, then gg you win. (Random thought because of the post above lol)
 

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Everyone will fuck up somewhere in every speech, that's the reality of it. It will happen and it will be awkward, but if you recover quick enough, nobody but yourself will remember.

I've found that if you prepare too much but not to the point where you are entirely fluent in your topic, you can focus too much on what you wrote, which usually leads to monotone delivery. And if you forget your lines, you might freeze up and miss your chance to recover and ad-lib the rest. If you do go all the way and memorize everything you can, make sure you go ALL the way with it: you should be able to basically rewrite your speech on the spot.

The other approach is to write the minimum of a speech, sort of like how an experienced presenter might write on a powerpoint, and just talk to the audience, which is really difficult. Some of my friends have done it before with some success, and they tell me its usually a good idea to talk to a lot of people about their topics and test out various bits of their speech until they get a rough plan, sort of like a comedian trying out different variants of their jokes. You could of course combine both approaches, and try out various paragraphs/sentences/etc. to see what is the most effective, then stick everything together with some duct tape and metaphors.

I usually play speeches and presentations pretty loose unless it's extremely important, in which case I go nuts and study everything. Important speeches never get any less terrifying to me.
 

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I'm so very happy to learn there are plenty of people who also FUCKING DESPISE public speaking.

I won't add my own opinion because:

1. Everyone already has said enough to validate what I want to say.
2. I already wrote a HUGE rant about it in another thread where someone asked for advice on how to magically become less nervous for an upcoming presentation.

My overall realisation is that I either have an actual phobia of public presentations - as illustrated by the fact that I will actively try to avoid any situation which may involve me having to confront the fear (this is a characteristic trait of having a phobia) - or I'm just become more stubborn about being forced to do shit that I FUCKING KNOW IS NOT BENEFICIAL TO ANYONE AND IT'S JUST A STUPID SOCIAL LOOPHOLE WHICH IS NOW ADHERED TO BY AN OVERALL IDIOT POPULACE OF DRONES WHO'LL DO WHATEVER THE RULES DICTATE TO THEM.

Eesh. I get so mad about this, haha.
 

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Public speaking is a skill. If you don't have confidence in your abilities, you will likely not want to do it (you have the added pressure of an audience and you cannot practice the skill without this audience).
It is kind of like wanting the ball in your hand when the game is on the line. If you are confident in your abilities, you will want the opportunity. But if you are second guessing yourself, you would rather have somebody win/lose the game.

If all else fails, Hitler gave many speeches. Aren't you better than Hitler?
 

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What does that mean?
It means insofar IP and NT are essential parameters of personality that people can readily identify, even without knowing mbti (I suppose there could have been IT or NP or PT, but I think that would be too subtle for the layperson to identify. People judge introversion/extroversion with people the fastest, and people judge whether they're thinkers/feelers pretty quickly too. Best to have these separated imo) People can identify with INTPs the least. Given the percentages in the population of people who actually think with these parameters.
 
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