Several university courses require students to give presentations or speeches as part of the curriculum, making public speaking anxiety a prevalent problem among undergraduates. These projects can be especially difficult for students who battle with public speaking anxiety, which can present as bodily symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and nausea, as well as mental symptoms such as racing thoughts and a sense of panic (Pierini, 2020).
University lecturers must realize the potential impact of public speaking anxiety on their students and give support and resources to help students manage their fear and thrive academically. This may involve providing opportunities for practice and feedback, offering workshops or courses on public speaking, and being empathetic and accommodating to students who struggle with public speaking fear (Greeve, et al., 2021).
Undergraduate students in higher education may face anxiety when it comes to public speaking for a variety of reasons. A lack of experience or self-assurance in public speaking may be the cause for some people. Others can be concerned about being evaluated or judged by their classmates or teachers. In addition, the worry that one will humiliate themselves, forget their content, or make a mistake while speaking in public can also be a contributor to the condition known as public speaking anxiety (Venkatesh, 2020).
Undergraduate students in universities today are fortunate to have access to a variety of services that might assist them in overcoming their fear of public speaking. Students can gain the knowledge, experience, and self-assurance they need to excel in public speaking by taking part in one of the many colleges that provide workshops or classes on the subject of public speaking. In addition, higher education institutions have student support services, such as counselling or peer mentorship Programmes, which can assist students in learning how to manage their anxiety and create measures for coping with it.
The practice of relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation, can also be beneficial to individuals who feel anxiety related to public speaking. Also, preparing and practising presentations or speeches ahead of time can assist in increasing confidence and minimizing anxiety. This can benefit both the presenter and the audience.
It is crucial to keep in mind that worry about public speaking is a typical sensation, and that many outstanding public speakers had to work hard to overcome their nervousness before they could achieve success. Undergraduate students in higher education can learn to control their nervousness, become excellent public presenters, and grow more confident in their abilities with time, consistent practice, and assistance.
Grieve, R., Woodley, J., Hunt, S. E., & McKay, A. (2021). Student fears of oral presentations and public speaking in higher education: a qualitative survey. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 45(9), 1281-1293.
Pierini, F. (2020). Public Speaking in EFL Postgraduate Courses in Italy: A Case Study with Students of Political Science, University of Genoa. English Language Teaching, 13(8), 127-134.
Venkatesh, A. (2020). Public Speaking Anxiety in College Students: Developing A Treatment Protocol Through Correlation Of Socio-Environmental Causes To Non-Traditional Treatment Methods.
Mr. Adelokun Adetunji Oluwapelumi is a Lecturer II at the School of Art, Management and Social Science, Skyline University Nigeria. He has a Master of Arts Degree in English Literature from the University of Ibadan and a graduate degree in English from Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo Nigeria.
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