Did Making a Class Presentation Change Your Life?

Some middle and high school students feel that being forced to make class presentations is too anxiety producing. But maybe it’s anxiety-defusing!

Do you still recall a class presentation you made? Did it change your life? Share your stories over at Let Grow!

5 Responses to Did Making a Class Presentation Change Your Life?

  1. Jen Hardwick September 17, 2018 at 1:30 pm #

    Heck yes!! I was a horrible test taker, but a few teachers along the way were willing to let me do a presentation (or even teach a class) to prove that I understood the material. Presentations are also a great way to improve self-confidence and to work on a topic I was particularly interested in. Plus, there’s no better way to get over stage-fright than to practice in front of peers; now I do presentations for 1,500 people without a hint of nerves.

  2. Mark Headley September 17, 2018 at 5:20 pm #

    I can’t remember one early presentation, other than drama class. There were many, I believe beginning at young age. Hardly without trepidation, but that’s life: no? Many presentations too including about first aid as a Boy Scout elected as a Scout to “lead” the troup. With help, of course, especially from the wonderful adult Scoutmaster, who was the main leader. Still, making many presentations required as the elected leader I was; more to advance to Eagle Scout. Probably the most valuable of my Scouting experiences, besides friendship, challenges generally. Including how to productively hold other kids attention, loyalty, while allowing them reasonable leeway to be rambunctious, play, etc. themselves; cultivate their initiative, skills, experience in various areas. Naturally, schooling post-HS required many more presentations, as did many jobs beginning ~12; volunteer tutoring; sports formal, informal. As FRK, Let Grow duly emphasize, I believe: kids should be encouraged to pursue varied experiences to increase their confidence, savvy–including some bound to involve much involved w/ “presentations.” Like teaching each other games, introducing new friends, fun places to play …..

  3. Mj September 18, 2018 at 8:36 pm #

    I did it a bit backwards: I was required to give a speech in 7th grade; I did it on The Children’s Crusade. I of course dreaded it (I am an introvert). However, I found that I loved doing it & would have gladly gone on longer.
    Fast forward to high school… I became phobic of doing anything verbal in class. My voice would tremble so much & be so low that it was just embarrassing for everybody & humiliating for me.

    That’s my experience, & that is why I think Gandhi’s idea was great: require students to speak formally in front of their peers every day. Desensitizes against fear & helps create civically-engaged adults.

  4. JCP September 23, 2018 at 10:44 pm #

    I remember the moment in 6th-grade social studies when I overheard some popular students (I was not popular in Jr. High) talking about the terror they were feeling about having to do a presentation. Since I was generally afraid of being teased, I was surprised to hear two of the most popular girls in school talk about how scared they were. It was somehow calming to know that. Each struggled during her presentation, yet most of the class didn’t notice. It was the first time I realized my fellow students were too self-involved to notice others. There was one more day before my turn. I took the time to be well prepared. I calmed myself with the idea everyone was too concerned with their own performances to care how I did. The few who paid attention were impressed with how calm the fringe kid was. I matured more that week than in previous months and was never worried about class presentations after that. I even looked forward to them since I felt I had a slight advantage in being comfortable presenting. It even changed how I saw myself and my peers. By 8th-grade, I was no longer concerned with becoming popular. I concentrated on enjoying the friends I had. I would be teased less and less as I grew in confidence. By 10th-grade, I was friendly with the popular kids, and happy not to have the pressure of being close to them (dressing right, dating the popular guys, driving a cool enough car, etc.). My presentation experience significantly contributed to an important progression in my school experience.

  5. old_engineer September 26, 2018 at 2:11 pm #

    I will never forget my first Grade School presentation (4th or 5th grade), a book review (I do remember the book title and author). Home-life was not at all pleasant. I lived in sheer terror of my father and had developed a stutter. The book report was a nightmare. While I may have spoken in class, that was my LAST presentation until college. Post college I did “Toastmasters” with varying success. One club was great and supportive, the other was just as bad as childhood. Eventually I learned and even had fun with a few speeches. At one tech firm, I gave a “presentation on how to do presentations.” The Ph.D.s were trying to cram their thesis into a 45 minute time slot. I showed them that they were going to be incomplete, but that was good enough and the company was losing $$ during the interminably long and boring efforts.

    A career highlight was addressing 2,000 HP sales reps, telling them how to prospect for customers for my firm’s engineering analysis software program (FEA). I was thanked by many for not naming a single capability of the program. They had slept though too many feature laden lectures that gave them no useful information.