Generally I feel a little nervous before I need to present something. My biggest concern before and during my speech was being within the time limits. I was able to learn many different methods of controlling stress while I was in the Army and there are two I use often: combat breathing and status recognition. Combat breathing is simply measuring your breathes and spacing them evenly. With practice your body will begin to breathe that way all the time. Status recognition is a little harder to explain. The easiest explanation is that humans operate at 4 different levels of stress: green, yellow, red, and black. The goal is to stay in the yellow zone and use your bodies natural stress reactions as a benefit. This method takes many years of practice to fully develop though.
The new course knowledge I used was mostly related to using note cards. I’ve never been a consistent user of note cards; I prefer having my hands free when I speak. I tried to use them to outline my speech. I made notes about the different topics I wanted to cover, and under those topics I listed certain facts that might be hard to memorize.
I think the best part about my speech was my introduction. When I was practicing at home I kept picturing myself as a host of a TV dating show. I was still trying to come up with an attention grabbing opener, so I thought I’d try to work that joke in. I got a few laughs, so I consider that a success. I just need to work on my timing and delivery now.
The area I need the most improvement in is time management and slowing down how fast I speak. I new I was close to the three minute requirement when I practiced at home and I knew I needed to slow down my speech. Next time I present I will try and slow down. Having more information to talk about will also help to fill the time requirements.