Friday, January 15, 2010

Stage Fear (Glossophobia)– How to Reduce and Overcome Stage Fear

This article will be useful for people who wants to speak in front of a crowd without any fear.

Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking. If you have those sweaty palms, shivering hands, squeamish feelings in your stomach, rapid breathing, and a dry mouth before you go onstage, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. In fact, it has been found that more than 95% of people are scared of giving a public speech or performing a public act and this goes way above death and spiders in the list of things that people fear the most.

We must understand that a little amount of stage fear is actually good. It helps us prepare and boosts up our adrenaline and pumps up our energy levels. But it should not be so acute that it starts to cripple our confidence and our career. Here are a few ways in which you can alleviate your stage fear.

Prepare and Practice

“A person who fails to prepare is a person who is preparing for failure”

The two Ps, thorough preparation and practice is the best possible key to a good presentation. Go through the material carefully and organize what you have to tell in a way such that the audience will find it easy to understand and assimilate. Anticipate all the easy and hard questions that may come your way while you do the presentation and also make a mental note of how best to answer those questions. This will prevent you from balking when someone asks a question. Once you are sure that you have prepared very well your confidence levels will automatically boost up and your nerves will hold longer than you had expected them to once you are on the stage.

Practicing again and again will go a long way in ensuring that you make a great presentation. Once you have decided on what you are going to speak, concentrate on how you are going to speak. The major work is done and so now we can start ironing out the nuances. Stand in front of the mirror and see how your body, and in particular your hands move. Notice your pitch and the speed at which you deliver the words. Too fast and it shows that you are nervous and your audience will have a hard time catching up with you; Too slow and they will start slumbering. Maintain a moderate pace so that they can ride along with you.

Come to terms with the fact that things can go wrong

Now that you have done your two Ps you must also accept the fact that you cannot control anything that is outside your sphere of influence. People from the audience can treat you with negative remarks or gestures but you should never allow them to get on your nerves. This can seriously injure your performance. The best trick to deal with this is to imagine your audience doing something silly (like wearing funny clothes, or having whiskers drawn on their faces). This will soothe you and make you more tolerant with your audience.

Also be aware that you can indeed make a mistake sometimes. After all everyone is mortal and we are prone to making errors. Every single person in the audience would definitely have had their own embarrassing moments. Accepting this can drastically reduce your fear of making a mistake.

Mug up your opening line so that even if you are too nervous to think, you can spit up the opening line. A few minutes into your speech you will start warming up.


It is very important that you relax the day before your big day. Take the speech thing out of your mind and indulge in something that you love. Listen to music, have a nice long bath, water your plants, rent a funny movie and laugh your head off. Make sure you get ample amount of sleep the night before the speech. This will leave you feeling fresh and confident the next day.

On your big day make sure that you eat something light. You don’t want to be feeling queasy along with everything else. Make sure that you arrive at your destination well before the scheduled time. But you also don’t want to arrive too early and spend a lot of time worrying about your performance. Once you are on the spot you can do some stretching, shoulder and neck rolls and arm swings to alleviate the tension in your muscles. Take a few deep breaths and try to relax. Smile, because studies have shown that when we smile we automatically tickle the pleasure sensors in our brain. Smells also have a relaxing effect on people (esp. jasmine and lavender). You can spray some on your Kleenex and inhale it to reassure your brain that everything is OK.

Tips and Tricks on Stage

Before you go onstage talk to someone to make sure that your voice is fine. Have a sip of water and then walk on to the stage with a confident upward posture. Remember that people are here to watch your performance and not to watch you. Try not to be self-conscious. If you feel your legs shaking, lean on the podium or try walking. Don’t carry notes with you as they will betray your trembling hands. Carry three by five cards that fit smugly in your palm. Don’t fidget or put your hands in your pocket.

Browse through the audience and identify a few friendly faces all around the room. When you are talking, take turns to look at those faces. This will give the illusion that you are making eye contact with everyone and will also prevent you from fixating at any one point of the room.

If you do make a mistake DO NOT panic. Instead be happy that the worst is over. Move on and complete your performance with aplomb.

Once you start practicing all this you will find that performing on stage is not a big deal after all. So purge all your self-doubts and deliver your speech with splendor and confidence!

Monday, January 4, 2010

How to Document Mini Projects and Final Year Projects

The documentation of your project is as important as doing the project. You cannot take your mini project everywhere for a demonstration and it is the hard and soft copies of your documentation that will speak for you. It often occurs that people would strive hard to do the project and fail to document it properly. This should not be the case as it spoils your efforts. Allot time and put your efforts in constructing the mini project documentation.

Parts of Documentation

The documentation most often people do is just the procedure of the mini project. This is really nothing when compare to the efforts you take in doing the project. Grab all the information that you need and put it as a raw collection. Determine the side headings that are best and could give the best possible explanation about the project. Now pick the contents from your collection and fill it up under the side headings. Some of the subtitles that are common and mandatory are given below.

Abstract and Introduction

The abstract is just one paragraph of what the project is and where it can be put into use. Just include a sentence of how it works and how it has been designed. The next part is the introduction where you can speak about all the basics of the things that you have used in the project. You can bring out circuit diagrams, flow charts in this section.


In this segment, you can bring out the algorithm and procedure of the mini project. The construction of the mini project or the algorithm if in case of software based project can be elaborated. The entire flow can be explained in detail.


Here is the highlight of the documentation where you can explain about the working of your project with all the internal mechanisms involved in the project. Every step of the project along with how one triggers the next step should be mentioned clearly. This should be the biggest part of your documentation. Avoid copying contents in the procedure segment and try to build your own content.

Conclusion and Application

As the last part of the documentation, bring out the conclusion in an impressive manner. The three or four lines that you are going to inscribe in the conclusion segment must be catchy and at the same time be factual. You can append a sub title application where you can explain the area where your project can be put into use in a detailed manner. Additional segments like advantages, limitations and future enhancements can be discussed in one paragraph each. This can picture your scope of the project. Add a title of references where you can briefly pen down the books, sites and people you referred in bringing out your project. Keep your documentation precise and speak about the usage often.

Friday, January 1, 2010

How to Select and Plan Mini Projects and Paper Presentation Topics in Colleges and Universities

There would be a definite craze in you to endeavor mini projects in your college life. Influence yourself in doing a constructive work like this which can bring a big difference to your knowledge. Develop the passion for few subjects and master those subjects by dedicating more time towards it. Attempting a mini project and coming up with success can be a cake walk if you have the fervor to learn the subject practically. You can really be outstanding once you start acquiring practical knowledge by doing mini projects. Do not wait for time, place and instructions. Search for the options available and explore.

Choosing Topic

From the subjects that you are studying in your semesters, you can take up one which you like the most. Say for example, you are having flair towards Digital Electronics; learn all the basic gates, their logic and circuits associated with it. Find books, get assistance from your staff and use the internet to see the application of digital Electronics. As a first step, look for a mini project that has already been done. Take it up and try doing it on your own. You will have difficulties when you start which will turn as a stepping stone for your success. With the amount of experience you are gaining in doing a project that has been well prescribed, you can really move on questing more into this area.

Finding Time

The beginning of the semester is the best time where you can start thinking about the project. In fact, for a learning process like this, there need not be any specific time. Never get bogged down with the internal exams, tests and other routine stuff in college as they are going to keep coming at you. Spare just an hour in a day over a period of two to three weeks and this will be exceedingly enough to complete the project.


Plan your project and look for the resources that you can avail. When it is a software based project, there is nothing you will have to possess other than a computer. Look where you can spend time in doing the project whether in home or in laboratories in your college. You can fetch books from established libraries at very low cost and you can have the eternal internet reference by your side. Speak about your initiative to your staff and learn things from them. Every person will not be strong in all the subjects but will have strengths in one or other areas. Counsel with the staff whom you feel is good in that area and get ideas to proceed.

Forming Team

It is much better to do a mini project with couple of class mates by your side than doing it individually. Team effort saves time and cost for you and the knowledge that you can share and develop amongst yourselves will also be high. Motivate yourself and your team members in venturing mini projects.

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