The stress of presentations

Sophomores opens up about the anxiety that public speaking causes them


Photo by Bethany Arnold

Senior Joli Icenhower stands in front of the class to give a presentation in Mrs. Mooneyham’s Composition class.

Story by Gabbie DuBey, Staff Writer

In seventh grade, sophomore Chloe Mooneyham felt the pressure of the dreadful day approaching. Throughout the night, Chloe became increasingly nervous every hour waiting for the sun to shine to introduce the new day. Sadly, time never stopped, the sun rose, and the time had come to face her fear.

Presenting in front of other students often causes anxiety and nervousness. Before making her presentation on culture day, Chloe felt butterflies in her stomach.

”I asked my teacher if I could sit this one out since I was feeling very nervous,” Chloe said. “I remember asking my teacher multiple times how bad my grade would be if I was exempted out.”

When her teacher refused, Chloe was left with no other option other than to present her project.

“When it was my turn, it went horribly wrong,” Chloe said. “I could barely get a sentence out without stuttering. To make it worse, with every stutter my classmates laughed at me. After that situation, I never wanted to present again.”

While teachers may make students nervous with presentations, students wish for other ways to gain that skill.

“Being forced to present in front of an entire class when uncomfortable is one of the worst feelings,” sophomore Ixtlali Hernandez said. “Nobody should have to do something they aren’t comfortable doing just for a grade.”

Being forced to make presentations can also result in mental health issues.

“Not everyone is comfortable enough with the people in their class, and it can result in panic attacks or worse,” sophomore Iliana Osuna said. “I have personally dealt with very awkward presentations due to being forced to be up there.”

Having an alternate assignment in place of the presentation may result in a better grade since the student won’t be as anxious about it.

“Every student is different, so one student may do really well in that situation and another student may panic under the pressure, but it’s not their fault,” Chloe said. “Therefore, they shouldn’t be punished for it.”