Doing public speaking assignments for school is one of the most nerve-racking feelings that I get whenever I have to do them. Before I got back into martial arts, I was a nervous wreck whenever it came to presenting.
During my presentations I would say a lot of ”uh’s” and “um’s” in front of my classmates during class. Whenever my instructor catches me saying those words he would deduct marks from me. Usually what happens after my presentation is that my classmates would encourage me by telling me that I did a good job.
But in my own opinion, I thought I didn’t do as well as I should’ve. I didn’t feel very confident with how I spoke in front of the class. During my time in college, I was out of martial arts for a while. Being out of it has caused my level of confidence to drop to a very low level.
But, one day I decided to jump back into it. Right when that happened the process of rebuilding and regaining my confidence began! Ever since I got back into martial arts, I have noticed a significant change in the way I present for school presentations.
This type of change is an awesome feeling because you feel like a brand new ambitious person! Since a rebirth of confidence has been a big change for me! It has given me an idea of wanting to share with you how martial arts gave me confidence to present in school.
In my opinion, confidence is something that people either naturally have within themselves, or they don’t. For the people who don’t, they would need to find ways to develop it. To do that they would need to go through challenging obstacles that they come across in life.
I am the type that didn’t have any self-confidence within myself at all at first. But, martial arts was what helped me develop it. With the development in my self-confidence, I noticed that whenever it came to presentation day I wasn’t as nervous as I used to be.
Martial arts has taught me to believe in myself, which is why public speaking became less nerve wracking.
Learning to believe in myself came from:
- Consistently training
- Development of mental toughness
Training was not easy at first, but once I got use to it I felt my confidence rising! With the rise of confidence, I was able to move on to the next stage of learning new things that came my way.
With this type of mindset, it gave me the ability to be able to speak during my presentations with confidence. Now whenever I publicly speak in front of people during school, I tend to stutter less.
The words that I don’t say towards the audience as much were:
- You know
These words are so common for people who present because of how nervous you get. If it weren’t for the development of confidence, I would be stuttering a lot more & my grade wouldn’t be as high.
Sparring during training is another type of lesson that gave me the ability to become better at speaking during presentations. You may find it weird as to how this type of lesson got me better at public speaking.
But I will clarify to you all as to how I was able to maintain this characteristic. Sparring may not involve speaking in front of people. But, the one thing that I had to do that relates to presenting is dealing with my nerves.
Dealing With Your Nerves
Sparring, in my opinion, is harder than speaking in front of my classmates. Why? It’s because all my teammates and coaches are watching me on how I perform while sparring in front of everybody.
On sparring days I would feel nervous before it was my turn. As I experienced sparring more the less nervous I got. I got used to experiencing contact as well as finding my groove to perform at my best during those sessions.
After getting to the use of things the more fun it became to spar. Not only is it fun, but it has made me feel more determined of wanting to do it. The feeling of being more determined is such an awesome feeling!
Applying Your Determination
Ever since I developed this type of feeling I was like why not apply this towards public speaking at school! I got to say applying the feeling of being determined towards presenting has done nothing but wonders for me!
When it comes to presentation days, I would walk in feeling driven! With a change in attitude, it has helped me to stay ready and prepared to talk about my topic towards my classmates.
Once it was showtime, I knew my objective was to have fun while presenting like how I do during my sparring sessions.
3. Breathing Technique
As I mentioned before about dealing with my nerves. I never got to the part where they would go a little bit out of control during presentation days. I could feel my heart racing before it was my turn to speak in front of the whole class.
But, what I learned from martial arts that calms my nerves down was to take deep breaths. On some days of when I was training, there were moments of where my thoughts would go out of control.
Whenever that happens the techniques that I was practicing weren’t proper because of how anxious I was. When it came to situations where I begin to feel anxious my coach will tell me to practice taking a couple of deep breaths.
The Result From Deep Breathing
This tactic has caused a reset in my mind so that I was able to perform the techniques properly. Out of control thoughts will occur during presentation days for me as well. However, applying the breathing technique like how I did during training has helped calmed my thoughts down.
The same results occur except I can speak a lot better in my presentation. I can feel my thoughts being more balanced as well from taking a moment to breathe.
Breathing may sound like the simplest thing to do, but I noticed that a lot of people neglect to do it because it’s something that they are not used to doing.
4. Demonstrating Techniques During Training
During training days, I found demonstrating techniques along with my coach was a good way to help me get used to performing something in front of people. During boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, and MMA class my coach would have me to demonstrate the techniques that he wants to teach along with him.
I got to say it was pretty scary at first since I didn’t want to mess up anything in front of both my coach and training partners. As I got used to demonstrating with my coach more, the more it became natural to showing techniques in front of the class.
With the experience I got out of this, it has most definitely helped me with being less nervous for speaking in front of a class. Since I was so used to people watching me demonstrate techniques with my coach.
I didn’t feel as overwhelmed when it came to a class of people observing and listening to my presentation.
5. Experience In Competition
Experience in a competition was another thing that helped me with knowing how to deal with my nerves. When I did my first amateur boxing sparring match I was nervous as hell before getting in the ring.
I was worried about how I was going to do in front of the people that were watching. I didn’t want to disappoint my coaches & teammates as well. But, once I stepped in there, everything became natural to me.
While I was sparring with my opponent I pretty much did the things that I did in practice.
Competition Audience Vs. Classroom Audience
This type of experience has given me the confidence of being able to deliver during public speaking assignments for school. I found boxing in front of an audience more overwhelming than speaking in front of people in a classroom!
My amateur boxing sparring match took place in a hotel hall, and I got to say the energy level is a lot more overwhelming than a classroom. During my sparring match, the audience was loud and the audience was going wild!
Comparing to presenting in a classroom the people are more chill and relaxed, which doesn’t make it as overwhelming as the audience from the hotel.
When it comes to presenting for work or school, public speaking in front of an audience is never fun to do. For every presentation that I have done, I felt nervous while speaking. If it weren’t for getting back into martial arts, my grade for my school presentations wouldn’t have been as good.
The rebirth of confidence that I developed from sparring, demonstrating techniques with my coach, resetting my mind through breathing, & competing in front of an audience has caused a change in me.
Whenever I speak in front of an audience now, I tend to stutter less because of the confidence I have built from martial arts. If you are the type that gets nervous when speaking in front of people, I recommend getting into martial arts to learn how to overcome that fear.
If you have anymore questions about boosting your confidence in public speaking, please feel free to leave a comment or send a message.
Hi there! I’m Austin, editor & owner of the Mixed Martial Arts Life or Lifestyle (MMAL) blog. Martial Arts have been one of my biggest passions for years & I have spent most of my life learning different types of disciplines. To find out more about my adventures & passion for martial arts, read all about it here on my blog.