Going into your first class seminar -- and wanting to make a good impression -- can be a daunting experience. Feeling a touch nervous and having butterflies in the pit of your stomach is a normal reaction, so if that is what you are experiencing, don’t worry about it. Chances are every student in the room is sharing the same apprehension. Doing some preparation work before your first class seminar will help you feel more comfortable in the new situation. Knowing you are going to make a good first impression also helps ease stage fright.
Talk to yourself in front of a full-length mirror or videotape yourself. It is best that you see what the people at the seminar are going to see. Use this exercise to correct any annoying habits you may have, such as cracking your knuckles or jiggling your foot.
Speak slowly. When people are nervous they tend to talk quickly and ramble on. Make a conscious effort to speak slowly and think about what you are going to say, before you say it.
Enunciate your words clearly. Rather than running them all together, take the time to pronounce each word clearly. Your listening audience will appreciate it.
Look at your audience as you speak. Students who are shy will look down at their feet or at their folded hands. Make a conscious effort to let your gaze wander around the room. Notice that people are listening to what you are saying.
Pay attention to your body language. The way you move your body and how you position yourself says as much about you as your words.
Speak sincerely and with conviction. At the first seminar, you will likely be asked to introduce yourself, so get ready to tell the other people in the seminar a bit about your background. Rather than trying to dazzle them, be honest; you will come across as a classmate they want to get to know better.
Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.