teacher talking to a class

University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education: Overcoming nervousness

Although faculty can feel very confident about their course materials or presentation content, getting up and speaking in front of a gathering can be daunting from some people. According to some reports, it ranks higher on the fear scale than even skydiving. And yet, academics are required to do just that in many forums, from classrooms to professional meetings.

At an upcoming University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE) session, Sarah de Swart, interim director of UCITE, will discuss some key strategies used in public speaking, such as voice and body language, to help faculty develop the skills to minimize “stage fright” while lecturing or engaging their classes.

While some overcome the feeling of apprehension and even begin to look forward to public speaking, for others, the fear never quite goes away and becomes debilitating.

de Swart will draw upon her prior experience as a professional actress to illustrate how some of the skills used in improvisational theater (which involves interactions similar to those found in the classroom) can be adapted by faculty for their own use.

This session will be held Friday, Sept. 2, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Allen Memorial Medical Library’s Herrick Room (use Adelbert Road doors).

Pizza and sodas will be provided at this session.

RSVP to ucite@case.edu.