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  • Hi there. My name is Emma, and today, we are going to be talking about a scary topic: "Tips for

  • dealing with speaking anxiety". What do I mean by 'anxiety', just in case you don't

  • know that word? What I mean is... have you ever, maybe gotten very nervous before talking

  • to someone in English or even in your own language? Maybe you have a presentation to

  • give, and right before the presentation your hands get all wet and sweaty, your heart starts

  • to beat. For some people, they start to shake. Speaking anxiety is not a fun thing to go

  • through, and people get it for meetings, when they even just go to a party, or out with

  • their friends, some people get nervous, especially if they have to speak in a different language.

  • Looking at engvid.com, I've noticed a lot of you have asked, "How do I deal with speaking

  • anxiety? How can I become a more confident speaker?" This video is going to talk specifically

  • about that, and give you some good tips to use.

  • These tips are all tested, because as some of you may know, I have a second language.

  • I speak English -- that's my native language -- my second language is French. When I was

  • learning French, I had a lot of these types of situations, where maybe in class the teacher

  • would ask me a question, and I would panic. As I tried to talk, I just couldn't find the

  • right words. My heart would start to race, and my language-speaking ability would just

  • drop. I'd start to make mistakes. I knew they were mistakes, but for some reason, because

  • I was so nervous, I wasn't able to communicate well. I made lots of mistakes that I knew

  • I shouldn't be making.

  • Let's look at some of these tips. Some of these tips, before we begin, are maybe a little

  • bit common sense. Maybe you've heard these tips before, but ask yourself: do you actually

  • do these things when you speak? Because it's one thing to know that something is good for

  • you, it's another thing to actually do it.

  • My very first tip is the importance of breathing. When you are nervous, it's very important

  • to breathe. To breathe deeply. You don't have to do this in front of people, though. You

  • don't have to take a deep breath where they notice you're breathing heavily. Just remember,

  • take a breath. What does this do? It calms your heart. Scientists have proven that just

  • by breathing, you calm yourself down and you relax yourself. This is something you can

  • do, especially in a speaking test. I know a lot of my students do the IELTS, they do

  • the TOEFL, they do various tests like this. At some point, maybe they make a mistake and

  • they panic. They think, "Oh, no. I've made a horrible mistake. I'm going to fail this

  • test." What do I tell them to do? Take a breath and continue.

  • My second tip is to walk. I'm not saying you have to... before speaking to people, always

  • have to be walking, because that's just not practical. I'm not saying you have to go on

  • hour-long walks in order to be better speakers. What I'm saying though, is that if you have

  • some sort of speaking performance, speaking test, something you have to do which you're

  • very nervous about. If you have a little bit of time before you have to speak, a good idea

  • is to take a short walk. Before a presentation, before you present, walk around the room for

  • three minutes. Again, this sends a signal to your brain, and it naturally has a calming

  • effect on you. It will calm your heart and it will help you to not panic. If you're at

  • a party and your friends are all there, and you're still really nervous, you can still

  • use this tip. You don't have to be obvious, like pacing back and forth. You can walk before

  • you speak, if possible. It's a very good way to keep you from panicking.

  • The third point is a little bit more technical. I've written here "Automate Language". What

  • does this mean? Practice. The way your brain works is the more you do something, it becomes

  • automatic, almost like a robot or a machine. If you practice the same expressions again,

  • and again, and again, you don't have to think about them anymore, they just come straight

  • out of your mouth. This is what you want to do with speaking. Learn key expressions, either

  • that you might use for work, or that you may use for school. For example, a lot of students, they always

  • say, "I think" -- that's a key expression. You can change that -- "in my opinion". If

  • you practice saying that enough, anytime somebody asks you your opinion, it will just come out.

  • You won't have to think about it. Even if you're panicking, these words still come out,

  • so practice these key expressions.

  • Our fourth tip is to remember you don't need to be perfect. This is something a lot of

  • ESL students forget. They meet a native speaker and they think, "Wow. This person, their English

  • is beautiful. They have perfect English. I wish I could talk like that." What a lot of

  • ESL students don't realize is native speakers make mistakes all the time in their English.

  • Every time I talk to my friends, family, even professors, they make grammar mistakes, they

  • make vocabulary mistakes, they have what's called, 'slip of the tongue', where maybe

  • something comes out incorrectly. It's normal to make mistakes, and people don't judge you

  • harshly on your mistakes. Don't judge yourself too harshly. It's okay to make mistakes. In

  • fact, the best way to learn a language is to make mistakes. So make mistakes -- don't be perfect.

  • Number five: I'll be giving you a bit of an example with this specific point in a minute.

  • Use a "speaking template". What is a template? It's like a map, where you figure out exactly

  • how to organize the way you speak. These are very useful especially for speaking tests.

  • For the TOEFL, for the IELTS. They're good for presentations, for business meetings.

  • If you memorize a template that is useful for what your specific need is, it will really

  • help you with the flow of your language. You won't have to think so hard about what you're

  • going to say next. If you follow a template... I'll show you how to do this in a second.

  • It will show you how to speak in just a couple of easy steps.

  • Finally, number six: mantras. For those of you who don't know what a mantra is, these

  • are things we say to ourselves -- you don't have to say them to other people. Often, you

  • say them in your own head, and they usually have a good message, a positive message.

  • When I was learning French, my mantra is, or my mantra was, "I am a good French speaker."

  • The problem with a lot of students who are learning languages is that when they talk,

  • they start to get nervous and they think in their head, "I'm horrible. My language is

  • terrible. I'm making so many mistakes. The person I'm talking to can't understand me."

  • They start to panic. "My English is so bad." Do you ever think these things when you're

  • talking to someone? Because what scientists have proven is that if you have these types

  • of thoughts, it's going to make your language ability go down. You're not going to talk

  • as well as you could; whereas if you think positively, if you say, "I am a good speaker",

  • anytime that negative thought comes into your head, anytime you think, "I'm not a good speaker,"

  • I want you to immediately to tell yourself, "No, I am a good speaker". Because if you

  • do this... language is very powerful, a lot of people don't realize that, but the

  • way that we talk about something changes the way we think about something. If you say out

  • loud to yourself, if you tell yourself, "I'm a good speaker," it will become true; you

  • will become a better speaker. This is a very important tip. Tell yourself, "I am a good

  • speaker". Come up with your own mantra. Anytime you think negatively, think like this. Overcome

  • the negative with the positive.

  • Now I am going to show you an example of a speaking template.

  • Here is a template that can be used for the speaking part of the TOEFL test or the IELTS test, or these tests where

  • they ask you your opinion on something. I probably wouldn't use this template if I'm

  • at a party with my friends; it would just be too formal. Again, using different types

  • of speaking templates for different situations can really help you conquer speaking anxiety.

  • Let's look at this template. First of all, if I'm asked a question, I would state my

  • opinion: What do I think? What do I prefer? What do I think? Second thing I would do is

  • give a reason, and I would introduce it with a transition. There are many different transitions

  • you can use. "First of all" is a good one. I'd give a little bit of a detail for that

  • reason, then I would give a second reason. I could say, "A second reason is...", "Secondly...".

  • I give a detail for that reason. I'd give a third reason: "Finally..." detail for

  • this, and then I would give a conclusion; maybe something like "For these reasons, blah blah blah blah."

  • I know I've just said "blah blah blah blah".

  • Now I'm actually going to do a question so you can really see a template in use. One common

  • question that's on both the TOEFL and the IELTS is asking if you would prefer to live

  • in a small town or a big city. I've seen this question on many of these tests, so it's a

  • good one to practice. This template would be perfect for a type of question like this.

  • First of all, if somebody asked me, "Would you prefer to live in a small town or a city?"

  • I'd state my preference with a word like, "I believe", "in my opinion", "I think".

  • I'll use "believe", for now: "I believe that living in a big city is better than living in a small

  • town." Now I'm going to give a reason: "First of all, living in a big city means there are

  • many restaurants around you. If you feel like Greek food, you can get Greek food. If you

  • feel like Indian food, you can get Indian food. For people who love eating well, for

  • people who love restaurants, living in a big city is better than living in a small town."

  • I also gave some details with that. I gave you the reason, restaurants, and I gave you

  • detail, some examples.

  • Now I'm going to move on to a second reason: "Secondly, living in a city is better than

  • living in a small town because of the nightlife. In a big city, there are lots of clubs, there

  • are lots of places to go dancing, movie theaters, plays -- there's a lot to do; whereas in small

  • cities, maybe there's not so much to do." Again, I've given transition words -- "secondly"

  • -- and I've given some details.

  • Now I'm going to move on to reason number three: "Finally, living in a city is great

  • for jobs. There are a lot of jobs in a city. Sometimes in small towns, it's hard to find jobs.

  • So, for these reasons, I think living in a big city is better than living in a small town."

  • I didn't actually practice that. With that question, I just came up with it off the top

  • of my head using this. This is very useful, just for organizing your thoughts. Any question

  • I ask you that has to do with your opinion, you can use this template.

  • Find transition words you like. Maybe some of you don't like "first of all". "Firstly...",

  • "my first point is...", "my first reason is..." -- these are all fine.

  • "Secondly...", "my second point is..." , "another point is...". "Finally...", "my third point is..." These

  • transitions can really help you with the flow of your language. Again, speaking templates

  • are good things to use. They will help you organize your thoughts, they will help you to not ramble

  • on and on, and they can help you calm down, especially in speaking tests.

  • For more templates, for more tips, for more ways to conquer speaking anxiety, come visit

  • our site, www.PresentationPrep.com . Also, if you want to practice some of these tips

  • at our home site, www.engvid.com, I welcome you to join us there. Until next time, take care.

  • Learn English for free www.engvid.com

Hi there. My name is Emma, and today, we are going to be talking about a scary topic: "Tips for

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6 tips for dealing with speaking anxiety

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    VoiceTube posted on 2014/08/21
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