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University of Tennessee
Managing Your Fear of Public Speaking

Building on What You Know: Activities

In addition to thorough preparation of your presentation and application of the stress management techniques detailed elsewhere on this site, there are some activities that may help you in your journey to better manage your public speaking anxiety.

  1. A self evaluation sheet
  2. An assessment of a great speaker
  3. A delivery outline

Self evaluation sheet

This can be useful as a pep talk before your speech and as an opportunity to gauge your performance immediately after. Try to complete the first section right before you deliver your speech (or following your final practice) so that you can concentrate on your strengths before addressing your audience. Once you have completed your presentation, complete the second portion of the evaluation. Make sure to identify what you are most proud of. Finally, indicate the grade you feel your performance earned (not your preparation, effort, or improvement), just the actual presentation. Compare your assessment of your speech with that of your instructor and peers to see how your perceptions are similar and different to theirs. Use this new awareness and knowledge as a tool for improving content, delivery, and confidence.
Download one-page self-evaluation sheet [DOCX]

Assessment of a great speaker

Each of us has heard a great presentation. Whether it is a historical address, a graduation speech by someone famous, a motivational or inspirational presentation, or words of wisdom from a coach, pastor, or parent, we know what works and why. Think about someone whom you consider to be a fantastic public speaker and write your responses to the following prompts. What makes he/she so effective as a communicator? What is it about his/her delivery, content, and confidence that you find engaging, effective, and compelling? Most importantly, what can you learn from that person and incorporate into your own speaking style to make you a stronger presenter?

Delivery outlines

Public speaking is not public reading. The more we write, the more we will read and effective presenters connect with their audiences, they do not just read to them. So, you will need to create a brief delivery outline, one that will keep you on track but will eliminate the tendency to read directly from your notes. Though you may choose to write very detailed drafts, this brief outline is what you should use to deliver your presentation.
Download sample delivery outline for Informative and Persuasive speeches [DOCX]