You Asked It: Week 10

I’ve always been a shy person, but when I go to give any sort of presentation in front of any number of people, I always find myself freezing, stuttering and then failing the assignment. How do I get over this and become a better public speaker?

Becoming a natural public speaker is not something that happens overnight, even for those who are already extroverted and outgoing. In fact, according to the official website, as many as 75% of people have Glossophobia, or fear of public speaking.

100%, the most helpful thing you can do is PREPARE. Whether your presentation is a power point, book report, or project presentation, a great thing to do is practice what you’re planning on saying over and over again. As long as you know your topic, your fear of freezing or stuttering will pretty much be non-existent. If you’re planning on making flash cards, a tactic that works wonders for me is to write out exactly what you want to say word-for-word, then condense it into bullet points to print out onto your card. This way, you won’t be reading off of a script, and your presentation will be more conversational, like you’re teaching your audience.

Most of the public speaking anxiety hits you right before you’re about to get up in front of a crowd. A way to get over these jitters is just to take deep breaths, then put things into perspective. What’s reeeaally the worst that can happen? A bad grade? A couple people judging you? These are things that have extremely short-term consequences and can be fixed in a matter of no time. Grades can be changed, and your peers’ superficial opinions of you most likely have little to no effect on how you live your life. Just be confident in your own preparation, and think success!! If you believe you can achieve.

For a while now I’ve been suffering from depression and I want to start seeing a therapist, but I don’t know how to bring it up with my parents. There’s no way I can just not telling them since I would need their financial help and I’m under the age of 18. What should I do?

I want to start by saying that I’m sorry to hear that you’re dealing with so much emotionally, and I can understand how stressful it must be to try and cope with them, especially alone and without the help you need. The first thing I would do in your situation is to find a right time to start a conversation about this and flat out tell them exactly why you want to go to therapy. I know this can be a tough thing to do, but the outcome is so much better than trying to deal with your depression alone. Once your parents realize that your situation is out of their control, they’ll know that professional help is the best way to go. If talking to your parents about the problems you’re having is something you’re uncomfortable with, you can go about convincing them by listing the pros of therapy in any situation. Do your research and find facts that would best appeal to them, whether it’s help with school stress/pressure, help with family or friend problems, a loss or just overall happiness. Just let your parents know that anyone and everyone is a good candidate for therapy. Talking freely about your feelings can help you get through any challenge.

If talking to your parents about the problems you’re having is something you’re uncomfortable with, you can go about convincing them by listing the pros of therapy in any situation. Do your research and find facts that would best appeal to them, whether it’s help with school stress/pressure, help with family or friend problems, a loss or just overall happiness. Just let your parents know that anyone and everyone is a good candidate for therapy. Talking freely about your feelings can help you get through any challenge.

If for some reason your parents are still not down with you seeing a therapist, a great backup option is going to your school’s guidance counselor. First, ask them about their general confidentiality policies if you’re worried about your parents finding out at all. See if they have to notify your parents when you go to them about any issue at all, or just if there are intent and plan to act on any suicidal feelings. You can also see if they can advocate for you to your parents about seeking a professional and recommend you to a therapist. No matter what you do, it’s always easier to deal with a challenge with help rather than by yourself. Looking for help will help you find it.

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