Besides the many, varied and positive applications that the RDAP offers each one of the attending students, perhaps one more influential by product could be considered as part of your individual treatment plan; public speaking, RDAP style.
If anyone says they do not feel the slightest bit nervous when they get up to speak to a group, whether it’s while presenting issues, giving feedback, facilitating, or any of the other obligatory talking segments of the class, then they are not being honest. Some of the world’s most famous presenters have freely admitted to nervousness or stage fright throughout their careers, so you’re not alone with your fear.
Rather than torture yourself before or during every class, in dread of standing up to offer something, see each presentation – regardless how short or long –as an opportunity to both gain experience and to instill confidence in yourself. Most people have no problem talking to others, one-on-one, or at parties in a crowd, especially while intoxicated, so simply think of your presentations in class as an “intensified conversation” rather than “public speaking”, and without the substance abuse, which made you much more foolish then, when you were talking, than you are now.
Understanding where the fear of public speaking comes from, and what causes it, can be very helpful: for people who lack humility image becomes disproportionately important to anything that threatens to diminish that false front in any way tends to be avoided at all cost, lest one’s true – and “ordinary self”– be exposed. Inexperience, and therefore possible failure, at performing anything has the potential of causing one’s ego (or image) to suffer a kind of death , when its whole reason for existing is to survive. Reading and writing is taught in all schools to all students across the nation, so we’re used to that, but hardly ever is public speaking taught so that you find yourself wholly unprepared and inexperienced when called upon todoso– thus the fear.
However, there’s actually a kind of “good” nervousness, which can accept as a positive influence upon yourself and your audience. It’s when your nervous system is going full throttle –upto a point – that the nervousness can be good for you and your presentation because it means you’re fully alive at the moment – and that’s not a bad thing:
- Positive nervousness activates the adrenaline supply.
- It makes the eyes shine.
- It puts an edge on what you’re presenting.
- It generates a respectful attention within your audience because it proves that they are worth being nervous about.
- It creates an atmosphere that has a bit of drama in it.
But remember, everything about you is projected on to your audience so being overly nervous makes them nervous too, until they actually begin to worry about you, and presenters who cause worry don’t inspire great confidence. Now here you are in RDAP and suddenly find that you’re required to perform a fair amount of public speaking – for many consecutive months –so as an aid to this the following is offered:
- First of all, stop avoiding the opportunities to speak so that you can quickly rid yourself of the fear that comes from inexperience.
- As soon as possible, before you’re about to speak, take a few notes or think carefully on what you’re going to present because to be prepared –to know your subject and to know you know it– engenders a feeling of confidence.
- Develop a kind of anti-nervousness routine, for example, take a few deep breaths before you speak and you’ll notice some of the tension leave you.
- Share what you know rather than trying to hide what you don’t.
- Do not speak too quickly – find a comfortable pace and stay with it.
- Do not speak too loudly (yet be clearly heard) because doing so may exhaust you.
- Look squarely at your audience.
- Be earnest and sincere; you tend to lose fear when you really have something important and vital to say.
- When the audience knows you have it under control then they too can relax and will be able to better absorb what you’re sharing.
- Be brief, be bright, and then be quiet.
One must be aware of and avoid the tendency throughout this treatment course to give thoughtless presentations in the misguided effort to simply get your name recorded on the books as having fulfilled your obligations for RDAP. Don’t lose sight of the fact that people in the RDAP program really need help and, more importantly, that you are actually able to give it.
What’s more, with the experience and confidence cultivated during this program you will be in the prime position for the rest of your lives to perhaps speak occasionally to others –in large groups or small – with an important history, effective RDAP therapy, and thanks to your willing participation throughout the program, the ability to get your message across, all of which could most likely positively influence choices for the future of those to whom you speak as well.
Patrick Boyce Founder of RDAP Prison Consultants is an expert in the field prison consulting and a 2003 graduate of the RDAP program. Successful RDAP eligibility, admissions, and support maximizes ones chances of a sentence reduction and early release. Timing is critical with the ever changing and complex requirements surrounding what documentation is deemed acceptable for RDAP admission, it is important to contact us as early in the process as possible. For a free no-obligation case analysis contact Patrick now!
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