How to not be nervous reading in class (Tips)

How to not be nervous reading in class

In this guide, we will discuss “How to not be nervous reading in class”, a few tips and advice on how you can cope with nervousness when reading in front of your class.

How to not be nervous reading in class

If you are wondering ‘How not to be nervous reading in class’, it means you have felt how your heart starts racing, your palms begin to sweat, your voice breaks up, etc., when the teacher says it is your turn to read in front of the class. Feeling nervous from time to time, especially the first times you have to face a new situation or something you are not really familiar with is completely normal. 

Here are some useful tips on how to not be nervous reading in class:

  • Practice at home by recording yourself or asking a relative to listen to you. This way you can monitor the volume of your voice.
  • Make sure you are not speaking too fast. Some people tend to talk really fast when they are nervous, so check on it and try to consciously slow down.
  • Read as you were feeling the words and picture the scenarios in your head, the characters, the smells, etc. This will help you take your mind off being nervous.
How to not be nervous reading in class (Tips)

If you have experienced a negative experience while reading in class or you have seen how your classmates made fun of someone else, you may be in constant fear of making a mistake or being in the same situation as your classmate. 

Moreover, you may fear not only the fact that you’ll have to read at some point but also your teacher. However, it is not your teacher’s fault and they are not certainly doing to punish you or humiliate you in any way and you may even ‘hate’ the subject (i.e. English, Social Studies). Your teacher may just want to see and hear what you have learned so far, remember this to avoid taking it personally.

Let’s see more in-depth about the tips we have mentioned and include some more on how to not be nervous reading in class. Try to use them whenever you can and practice every chance you get.

Prepare yourself and practice

As we have mentioned, you are fully aware that at some point you will be asked to read, so try to do your reading and prepare yourself before the class. You can practice at home, recording yourself, or looking at yourself in front of a mirror while reading or in front of a friend. Take notes or underline unfamiliar words so you can look them up later. This can help you when facing words that you don’t understand or don’t know how to pronounce yet.

By doing this, you can be prepared next time they call you to read in front of your class. 

Don’t expect to be perfect

When we expect to live up to our expectations of being perfect in everything we do but we find we are not, we get frustrated, sad, angry, etc. To avoid this from happening, remember that there is no need to be perfect and you are allowed to make mistakes just like the rest of your classmates. Since you are learning, making mistakes will only help you through your learning process and to get better day by day.

Remember, no one is expecting you to be perfect, not your teacher, and especially not your classmates, who are in the same position as you. They are in no position to judge you or criticize you and even if they did, remove the power out of their comments so they see it doesn’t affect you.

How to not be nervous reading in class (Tips)

Pay attention and keep the focus

Have you felt how just the sound of other people giggling or whispering is enough for you to lose your focus? In fact, this can make you even more nervous. Be prepared, keep your focus on the task, and pay attention to what you are reading instead of what is happening around you.

If you keep your focus and concentrate, you will be able to stop paying attention to what is happening in your environment.

Breathe

When we feel threatened or in danger, our body reacts in order to preserve our integrity and avoid getting harmed. Although we have the same reaction when we perceive danger even if it is not really a dangerous situation, such as reading in front of the class, we will still get same physiological responses. Taking a deep breath will help us control those physiological responses by telling our body we are Ok and we are safe.

Moreover, make sure you breathe through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Have enough air coming into your lungs instead of shallowly. Take a few seconds between every breath to inhale and exhale slowly.

Start reading

If you have followed the previous steps and you know you are in the right place in the book then start reading. As soon as you start reading you will feel how the nervousness starts to fade away and your confidence starts to grow. However, it is important to consider monitoring the volume of your voice so you won’t scream or make your classmates have a hard time hearing you because you are not loud enough.

 Moreover, try to maintain eye contact with someone in the room, either your teacher or a classmate, if it makes you feel less nervous thinking that you are reading just for them but if you can’t handle eye contact just focus yourself on the book from beginning to end. If you were standing, you can sit down when you are done reading and tell yourself how proud you are for what you have done.

How to not be nervous reading in class (Tips)

Volunteer

Sometimes the teacher may ask if there is someone that would like to volunteer to start reading. Forcing yourself to do it will not only help you practice but also change your way of perceiving the activity as something awful or threatening but something you can actually enjoy. Besides, if you volunteer then you will be done with it in the beginning and you won’t have to wait anxiously for the teacher to call your name.

It also helps to tell yourself things like ‘this is fun’ or ‘this is easy’. So try next time before volunteering to have a positive talk when preparing yourself to read.

Seek for help

Remember how being nervous doesn’t necessarily mean a negative or bad thing. However, if you have tried everything but the anxiety is too overwhelming to the point you avoid as much as possible having to read or make excuses, then it is important to seek help from your teacher or a school counselor. 

Moreover, you don’t have to deal with it on your own or try to cope with it and ignore it to see if it will go away. By doing so, time will go by and your anxiety could even get worse not only affecting your school performance but also your personal life.

How to not be nervous reading in class (Tips)

Why is this blog about How to not be nervous reading in class important?

In this blog, we talked about ‘How to not be nervous reading in class’ and how feeling nervous is something really normal and common unless it starts impacting your life significantly. Remember that you are allowed to make mistakes and no one is expecting you to be perfect but while you practice, you will certainly get better every day. Also, don’t forget to breathe, concentrate, and focus on the activity instead of what is happening around you.

Finally, make sure to ask for help if anxiety is becoming too overwhelming for you, remember it won’t go away on its own. Try to reach out to your teacher, a friend a school counselor, or someone you trust for help. There is no need to be ashamed or embarassed, this is completely normal but sometimes be have to accept when we can’t do something on our own and ask for help.

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to not be nervous reading in class

Why do I get so nervous when reading in class?

You may be getting nervous when reading in class because you fear to make a mistake, humiliating yourself resulting in people laughing at you. However, recognize you are allowed to make mistakes just as the rest of the people in your class, and if you do eventually make a mistake, try not to overthink it. Most likely you will remember it the next day but the rest of the people may not.

How can I be confident in reading in class?

If you want to be confident reading in class make sure to practice at home. Read aloud and if you find a word you don’t understand don’t panic, just underline it and go back to it later when you are done reading.

How do I get over my fear of presenting in class?

If you want to get over your fear of presenting in class, it is recommended to:

– Do thorough research on the topic.

– Organize your information in subtopics.

– Practice and practice as many times as you need.

– Visualize your success after presenting.

– Do some breathing exercises.

– Focus on your material and not on the people you are presenting to.

How do I stop being shy in front of an audience?

If you want to stop being shy in front of an audience, it is recommended to:

– Pick one person from the audience and imagine you are having a one on one interaction with them.

– Film yourself speaking and identify your speaking pace. Try to slow down if you notice you are being too fast.

– Have a clear structure on the topic you will be talking about. This will engage your audience with the topic you will be referring to.

– Fake it until you make it. Sometimes we focus in how nervous we are but the truth is we are the only ones that really know we are nervous, your audience doesn’t have to know.

What does Bibliophobia mean?

Bibliophobia is the hate, fear or distrust towards books.

References 

Taylor, C. (2019, Mar.) How to Be Confident When Reading Out Loud in Class. Retrieved from wikihow.com.

How to not be nervous reading in class (Tips)

Daniela Paez

Daniela Paez is a Clinical Psychologist with an MSc. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions.