If your classes have a presentation component, then you know just how nerve-wracking presenting can be for your students. Even normally outgoing and relaxed people can freeze up in front of a crowd, and for some students this anxiety is completely debilitating, erasing their presentation skills altogether.
Is there anything to be done for those particularly unlucky souls?
Well if you’re asking this question, you aren’t the only one. In fact, many researchers are trying to better understand presentation anxiety so they can help students overcome it. A study from Dublin City University discovered that presentation anxiety—also known as oral communication apprehension (OCA)—is caused by three main factors in a student: fear of humiliation in front of their peers, negative past experiences with presenting, and insufficient preparation. These researchers spent hours interviewing students about what exactly makes them so nervous. Without fail their fears always stemmed from those three sources.