Say it proud and loud. The psychology behind giving good presentation and speeches by Simona Martoncikova - Profesor de inglés - Barcelona

Simona Martoncikova

Profesor de inglés


Say it proud and loud. The psychology behind giving good presentation and speeches


 I used to hate this expression. Why should you ever aim to put on a pose just to become successful? That’s exactly what I used to think when I was 18, and partly, I still believe this. But there is one thing I learned about being successful that I would like to share with you.

In my first year of studying languages, I enrolled for a course called Presentation Language. The objective was to learn how to give engaging presentations and speeches in English.

 The very first activity our teacher assigned us was to get a piece of paper and each write down a topic, sentence or just a word – whatever came to your mind. Let me remind you, these were 19-year-old bored students, so you absolutely can imagine the stupidest things they wrote down. Later, he collected all the papers and randomly selected a student to assign them one of the topics written by their peers. All they needed to do was to give 2 minutes speech about the chosen topic.

What followed can only be described by one word: a catastrophe. The poor girl that was chosen needed to stand in front of the class for 2 minutes thinking what to say about: “Can it really rain frogs?”

For the whole semester, this act repeated at the beginning of each class, only now the teacher was the one creating the topics (still very random though). The whole purpose of this exercise wasn’t to humiliate us. We needed to, week-by-week, become more comfortable speaking in front of people, discussing topics we didn’t know much about, in a language that wasn’t our mother tongue.

And although few people dropped the course during the semester, in the end, those of us who stayed could actually see the results. Everyone has become more relaxed and comfortable with making mistakes, embraced their slow pace of speech, their accents and lack of vocabulary.
We learned to smile and suck it up when we wanted to give up, stand straight even though we’d love to just disappear, and speak with a steady voice when our bodies were shaking.

I personally still profit from these classes every time I need to give a speech publicly. And I couldn’t be more thankful for the experience. 

Having confidence when speaking makes you look more accomplished than you feel at the moment. We all need to first feel as catastrophes in order to become pros.

So, my advice to you is: Say it proud and loud, even if you feel like your English isn’t good enough. That’s how you improve. 

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