CIP School in the Phils.


on August 20, 2012

Does the thought of an oral report make you queasy? If so, you’re not alone. No

Brooklyn Museum - Five Actors on Stage - Utaga...

Brooklyn Museum – Five Actors on Stage – Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

kidding–people of all ages and occupations feel the same way. From stage actors to college professors, many professionals feel the sudden urge to flee just before they speak. So what can you do? Just follow these steps to calm down and get ready for a super performance.  First before starting if you can record your report.

  1. Write your report to be heard, not read. There is a difference. You’ll see this once you begin to practice what you’ve written, as some sentences will sound choppy or too formal.
  2. Practice your report out loud.
  3. On the morning of your report, eat something but don’t drink soda. Carbonated beverages will give you dry mouth.
  4. Dress appropriately, and in layers. You never know whether the room will be hot or cold. Either could give you the shakes, so prepare for both.
  5. Once you stand, take a moment to gather your thoughts or relax. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a pause. Look through your paper for a moment. If your heart is beating hard, this will give it an opportunity to calm. If you do this right, it looks very professional.
  6. If you start to speak and your voice is shaky, take a pause. Clear your throat. Take a drink of water if it’s available.
  7. Focus on someone in the back of the room. This has a calming effect on some speakers. It feels weird, but it doesn’t look weird.
  8. If there is a microphone, talk to it. Many speakers concentrate on the microphone and pretend it’s the only person in the room. This works well.
  9. Take the stage. Pretend you’re a professional on TV. This gives confidence.

10. Prepare an “I don’t know” answer if people will be asking questions. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. You can say something like, “That is a great question. I’ll look into that.”

11. Prepare a good ending line. Avoid an awkward moment at the end. Don’t back away, mumbling “Well, I guess that’s all.”


  1. Know your topic well.

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