Overcoming nervousness when teaching or giving talks and other presentations

Date Released: 2 September 2016

Although faculty can feel very confident about their course materials or presentation content, having to stand up in front of a group can feel challenging. Getting up and speaking in front of a gathering can be daunting from some people. According to some reports, it ranks higher on the fear scale than even skydiving. And yet, academics are required to do just that in many forums, from classrooms to professional meetings.

At the next UCITE session, Sarah de Swart (Interim Director of UCITE) will discuss some key strategies used in public speaking, such as voice and body language, to help faculty develop the skills to minimize "stage fright" while lecturing or engaging their classes.

Over time some of us overcome this feeling of apprehension and a few even get to relish the performance aspects of public speaking and look forward to it. But for others that fear never goes away and there are instances of it being quite debilitating, with some teachers feeling serious anxiety before every class and others who face giving a formal presentation worrying for weeks in advance about how they are going to get through it. What makes it even worse is that many falsely think that they are alone in feeling this way.

Sarah will draw upon her prior experience as a professional actress to illustrate how some of the skills used in improvisational theater (which involves interactions similar to those found in the classroom) can be adapted by professors for their own use. 

Join us on Friday, September 2th, 2016 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. in the Herrick Room, which is on the ground floor of the Allen building (at the corner of Adelbert and Euclid). Pizza lunch and sodas will be provided at this session. 

To help us estimate the amount to order, please let us know if you plan to attend this session by replying to this email or sending a message to ucite@case.edu.