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So, I'm currently taking a module in critical reading in college which allocates 15% to class participation, and yesterday was our first three-hour seminar of the semester. It wasn't a memorable experience. =(

The class of 15 people took the first hour to warm up to the prospect of being assessed according to their degree of participation, before they began clambering over each other for their turn to speak. The discussion was centred on the close reading of unprepared material. Now, because I understand that I'm certainly not one to demand attention to myself especially during an academic setting, I found myself at a sheer loss at to how to navigate my way through the tenacious hand-raising and fierce argumentation that arose during the discussion. While I did have something to say, I either a) thought it wasn't substantial enough, and hence held it back, or b) waited my turn to say it and next thing I know, we're on to a different topic. Well, needless to say, even though I was very much engaged in the class with my nods and other 'acquiescing' noises, the professor prompted me with a request for a response while highlighting that I hadn't said anything the entire class. I was utterly mortified and rendered speechless. She made a side-joke about something else to ease the awkwardness, before giving up and asking for responses from the floor. I've always adhered to social protocols to avoid embarrassing circumstances, but this time, I could not save myself, heh.

As a strong INFJ, I've never been an impromptu speaker, much less a public one. Not socially awkward either, and in fact, I carry myself quite confidently with a sound diction and a keen sensitivity to the social climate. It pains me to be thought less of intellectually by others just because I lack verbal spontaneity. It's as though my Ni and Ti functions reflexively shut down upon a converging scrutiny by the class, and my mind draws a blank. It was a horrible experience and I've been trying not to replay it in memory even now. =/

I'm sure quite a number of us grapple with having to make our literal voice known when situations demand it. How has everyone else managed with speaking out in class especially when due time has not been given for preparation?
 

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Gosh, you speak of how I feel too. To speak and think at the same time is hard for me, I hate things which require immediate response so much!

For two hours in Geography while my class was discussing a topic for revision purposes, I was sat quietly revising a separate topic by myself because I didn't wish to be part of the debate. At the end of the lesson my teacher said aloud in front of the class to me "You're not said a word all lesson" (which happens most lessons, so I don't see why he felt the need to point it out), mortified I couldn't think straight and mumbled that I had been revising something else, which the class promptly laughed at. It's safe to say I have always disliked this particular teacher.

My History teacher loves debates also, always insisting we get into groups to make a presentation, and once presentations are over debate on a particular topic. Firstly I hate the presentation as whenever I speak, the guys who joke around a lot whisper things while I'm talking. I also try to stay out of these discussions afterwards as I do not feel comfortable expressing myself to the class; my teacher may leave me alone, but can sometimes ask me what I think, which I cannot coherently explain with fifteen other teenagers staring at me. I didn't appreciate my school report suggesting "greater oral contribution is needed", I mean surely my A grade essays prove I listen intently when necessary which is generally what matters.

Generally I speak out more in smaller classes with teachers I feel comfortable with, i.e. teachers who seem understand me to some extent. I will not speak out on a topic I feel I don't have a huge amount of insight on.

In an informal setting with those I feel comfortable with I can express my opinions quite loudly, my Mum even says I'm outspoken. (This linking to the other thread about INFJ being "loud")

Would love to hear how others manage to deal with these issues too?
 

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Well, considering that the class is small. I honestly just tend to say whatever I feel and fight to get it in. In times like this, where participation is 15% of the grade, I usually just suck it up and see it as a verbal debate where you kind of have to just say what you want to say regardless of how unimportant it may seem to you.

That's how I've handled the situation. However, in a class that small I tend to think teachers will be fair in choosing someone who hasn't spoken yet; I hope she's one of those.

Don't feel bad! You have a whole semester to show her how smart you are =)

There's always the option of reading ahead the night before (if that's possible?) and preparing beforehand :crazy:
If not, then see it as an in class competition :laughing:

YOU CAN DO ITTT!
 
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When I am on one of my techie calls at work, sometimes I get a brain fart and lose everything in mid-instruction

Instantly then I feel objectified from the customer because I start sounding like a 'tard and I'm supposed to be representing Apple

I halt everything and give myself a moment to compose things in my head, then I'll bullshit the customer into putting them on hold so I can collect myself and start over

After the initial "BOLLOCKS" it's not so bad, just wish it didn't happen at all

My co-workers all think I'm an extrovert, but I'm really meek and I hate being put on the spot like that :/
 

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Well, considering that the class is small. I honestly just tend to say whatever I feel and fight to get it in. In times like this, where participation is 15% of the grade, I usually just suck it up and see it as a verbal debate where you kind of have to just say what you want to say regardless of how unimportant it may seem to you.
Haha! I really hope it never comes to that, but I understand that it's a dog-eat-dog world out (or in, rather) there, and this idealist of a brain needs to see that before the beasts tear and rend at him. =O

That's how I've handled the situation. However, in a class that small I tend to think teachers will be fair in choosing someone who hasn't spoken yet; I hope she's one of those.
It's amusing that you should say that, because the irony is in the fact that I would hate to be summoned up for an impromptu response, haha! I'd rather be given my time and space to ponder, then answer at my own time. Unfortunately in such a fast-paced seminar, time is not a commodity in excess. =(

I wish I could prepare, because I'd take pains to cover all grounds, but the professor explicitly stated that she wanted the work (i.e. analysis) to be done in class, and provides the material there and then to prevent any form of externally-extracted input.

YOU CAN DO ITTT!
YESH I CAN! =D
I just need to work on changing my mousey ways.
 
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I too have a problem speaking up in a classroom. This is aggravated by being totally deaf in one ear and not always being able to hear the discussion that is going on properly. Making a comment and being told that that comment has been already made discourages me from making further comments in that particular situation.
 

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I actually resent being put on the spot, and typically (and unjustly) hold a grudge against people who do this to me. As I am not terribly ambitious or competitive, especially where GPAs are concerned, I would probably opt not to participate and instead compensate for the lost 15% by excelling on the tests and other projects (which I excel at).

Public speaking, prepared or not, is by far my biggest fear, though I have overcome it somewhat since being forced to give practice briefings in NCO school in the Air Force. I personally think the world puts far too much emphasis on participation and public speaking, and that they are best avoided if you can possibly get away with it. I am very much enamored of my comfort zone. That is why it’s called a comfort zone.

I usually attempt, if possible, to volunteer as much as possible for simple questions that do not require much effort, explanation, or preparation. I have learned to appear visible and marginally (if quietly) motivated, but only in the periphery; just enough so that I give the impression that I am actively participating. Your lack of participation must not appear obvious. Be opportunistic, attempt to see where the conversation is heading, and make a preemptive strike. Seize the easy question, then sit back and wait for the next one. Note: this will not work with an overly perceptive teacher, esp. an NF. She or he will feel the need to nurture, to encourage, to help you to grow. Fight it!? It's more fun than giving in.

It is a trick I learned in the Air Force, where I would volunteer quickly for the thing I find least offensive. For example, rather than volunteering for something that I would find uncomfortable (public-speaking, organizing something, marching/formations, etc), I would volunteer to do some menial task that would not require me to interact with anyone or take charge of anything, even though I was often more capable than others. There are always an enormous amount of go-getting extroverted types eager to volunteer for the other stuff. Thus I looked motivated, but in reality I am avoiding something I found even more disagreeable. Again, this will not work with busy-bodies who wish to make you a "better" person.

Maybe try this:

Wait until someone has volunteered to speak, listen to what they are saying, compose something coherent while they are speaking, and add on to what they have said.

Take online classes (not always possible, I know), in which you can type your responses.

Do you get the 15% for being right, or simply for participating? Try and get over the fear of being wrong. Learn to be wrong with confidence, and not to care what others think; wrong, but plausibly wrong; whatever else may be said if it, it is better than saying nothing in these instances. And as concise as possible. I suppose this could be a problem with a teacher you may have for several classes (if you are concerned with her or his opinion, or need her or his suporrt).
 

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Argh! The worst thing I remember from school and university is participation. I found it unfair they put so many grades on it. In some classes I had to force myself to raise my hand and answer.

In small situations it was easier though if I knew they had no grades on it I didn't participate unless no one knew the answer and the teacher was going to have a fit. :crazy:

The funny thing is I'm a teacher and expect people to participate but I try not to put the students I indentified as introverts on the spot.
 

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In small situations it was easier though if I knew they had no grades on it I didn't participate unless no one knew the answer and the teacher was going to have a fit. :crazy:
I do this as well. It makes me nervous when the teacher is irritated. Especially when I was in the military. SO I would often chime in just to defuse a possible situation.

 

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I can't say I've ever enjoyed participating where I have to say the first thing that comes to mind. I had a case study class when I was in school that required this every time and I really hated it.

I did okay though, because I just forced myself to say something and ignore what I thought would be the results.
 

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So, I'm currently taking a module in critical reading in college which allocates 15% to class participation, and yesterday was our first three-hour seminar of the semester. It wasn't a memorable experience. =(

The class of 15 people took the first hour to warm up to the prospect of being assessed according to their degree of participation, before they began clambering over each other for their turn to speak. The discussion was centred on the close reading of unprepared material. Now, because I understand that I'm certainly not one to demand attention to myself especially during an academic setting, I found myself at a sheer loss at to how to navigate my way through the tenacious hand-raising and fierce argumentation that arose during the discussion. While I did have something to say, I either a) thought it wasn't substantial enough, and hence held it back, or b) waited my turn to say it and next thing I know, we're on to a different topic. Well, needless to say, even though I was very much engaged in the class with my nods and other 'acquiescing' noises, the professor prompted me with a request for a response while highlighting that I hadn't said anything the entire class. I was utterly mortified and rendered speechless. She made a side-joke about something else to ease the awkwardness, before giving up and asking for responses from the floor. I've always adhered to social protocols to avoid embarrassing circumstances, but this time, I could not save myself, heh.

As a strong INFJ, I've never been an impromptu speaker, much less a public one. Not socially awkward either, and in fact, I carry myself quite confidently with a sound diction and a keen sensitivity to the social climate. It pains me to be thought less of intellectually by others just because I lack verbal spontaneity. It's as though my Ni and Ti functions reflexively shut down upon a converging scrutiny by the class, and my mind draws a blank. It was a horrible experience and I've been trying not to replay it in memory even now. =/

I'm sure quite a number of us grapple with having to make our literal voice known when situations demand it. How has everyone else managed with speaking out in class especially when due time has not been given for preparation?
Last spring I had a class that put me in a very similar situation. It caused me stress all semester as I tried to earn those participation points! What I finally learned to do was to take notes as I read material for class. Then I would review my notes and generate a few points of discussion that I would try to slip in early in the class meeting.

Upon talking to my classmates, I discovered that many of us felt the same way -- overwhelmed and confused and startled. Sometimes a few of us would meet before class and discuss things briefly. Once we got into class, we would steer the discussion for a little while based on our pre-discussion. Not only would we get in our participation, but this actually took the class discussion further and was really beneficial overall.

Also, talk to the prof. and let her know that this is something new for you and that you are trying to get the hang of it. She might have a few suggestions for you.

Good luck! I know you'll fall into the groove!
 
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