Presentations become easier with preparation and practice. It’s natural to feel nervous in the days and hours leading up to any public performance. Even experienced actors and politicians admit they still suffer from stage fright from time to time!
There are many ways to lessen performance-related anxiety and its impact on your delivery. Whether you’re working on a five-minute speech or a dissertation defense, you’ll want to understand what’s expected of you, craft a realistic plan for the available time, rehearse, deploy visual aids and other media effectively, and dress for success.
Find your voice online
Engaging in classes online can be tricky. Here are a few suggestions for effective participation:
- Make time in advance of an online lecture to get set up. Find a quiet and comfortable space, gather your materials, check your internet connection and make sure your computer is charged and compatible with the online platform.
- Investigate the online platform controls and test your computer’s camera and microphone. When you turn your camera on, behave as if you were in class: pay attention and be respectful of others in the virtual room. Avoid back lighting so that you are fully visible and if you are attending through your phone, put is somewhere stable.
- Mute your microphone when you are not speaking if you need to reduce noise interference. When you want to speak, try to avoid talking over other people. Many platforms have a chat function so you can ask questions: try to phrase your statements as clearly as possible for someone reading your message at home. If you are using Zoom, you can use the “raise hand” function to tell the instructor that you’d like to participate. Be sure to put your “hand” down when you are done!
Other U of T resources
Academic mentor appointmentsBook a one-on-one appointment with a peer mentor to get fast support and skills. Learn more about Academic mentor appointments
Academic Success resource libraryExplore our handouts and tip sheets on academic skills. Learn more about Academic Success resource library
Academic Success workshops by requestBook a custom workshop for your class or student group. Learn more about Academic Success workshops by request
Ask a learning strategistGet quick, one-on-one drop-in support with a learning strategist. Learn more about Ask a learning strategist