Do you struggle with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Or perhaps, you know someone who is afflicted with this condition. This disorder is prevalent in childhood who have difficulty behaving or focusing at some point in their lives. This also carries on to adulthood.
This article will highlight the causes, challenges, and success even if you or your loved one is struggling with ADHD. Yes, public speaking with ADHD can be accomplished!
Public Speaking with ADHD: The Challenge
According to the CHADD, this is not a disorder that children grow out of. In most cases, children with ADHD struggle at home, with their peers, and even at school. If left untreated, this disorder will worsen and affect almost every aspect of your life. It can last until you reach adulthood. People with ADHD may struggle with relationships with peers, work, and home. It may be more noticeable at this point because, as a person ages, the demands of adulthood increase.
Per Mark Bertin, M.D. in Developmental Pediatrics, people with ADHD struggle with articulation, impairing their ability to produce sounds appropriate for their age. Furthermore, they have significant differences in vocal quality and fluency when speaking. People with ADHD have a higher pitch and volume when speaking than people who only have learning disabilities. They frequently pause and use many filler words, making them difficult to understand when conveying a message.
Causes of ADHD
Most people thought that ADHD was caused by excessive television viewing, eating sweets, environmental and social factors, poverty, family, etc. This belief has been debunked by scientific research; while it may exacerbate ADHD symptoms, claiming that they are the cause is always false.
Scientists are still trying to figure out what causes ADHD and how to reduce its chances. They may not have all the answers right now, but they know that genetics plays a significant role. Other than that, it could be caused by any of the following factors:
- Injured brain
- Early childhood or pregnancy exposure to environmental hazards
- Pregnancy and tobacco and alcohol use
- Premature delivery
- Low birth weight
Public Speaking with ADHD: Top 8 Tips to be Successful
Knowing all of the constraints and difficulties that ADHD can bring, it is now clear to us that having it can significantly impact your ability to speak publicly. Having ADHD is difficult, but there are things you can do to help yourself succeed in public speaking.
Here are the top 8 success tips:
1. Choose an interesting topic
When a person has ADHD, they are more likely to cling to their emotions. Instead of viewing it as a disadvantage, consider it an advantage! Choose a topic that interests you and helps you deliver a heartfelt speech. When you do this, your enthusiasm will spread throughout the audience.
If you've been assigned a dry subject, try to approach it creatively. Look for alternative approaches, ideas, or simply spin them creatively.
For example, you may be asked to speak about the history of Europe during the Middle Ages. This could be a boring subject. But what can you do to spice things up? Models, maps, and other creative props could be used! It's also a good idea to dress up in costume. That's great as long as you can deliver a presentation, no matter how creative it is!
2. Organize your talk
Make a mind map or outline of what you want to say and how you want to deliver it before drafting your speech. This can assist you in identifying the deficiencies in your presentation. It is also an excellent opportunity to seek help from your tutor, teacher, parent, or local librarian.
You should keep in mind that your topic should be concise rather than complex. If your structure is overly complicated, you will lose your audience. No matter how interesting your topic is, always avoid becoming overly complex.
When giving a speech or presentation, keep in mind that your goal is to keep it "short and sweet." When a person has ADHD, they are prone to flinging all of their ideas at once, which can be boring to the audience if you just repeat your ideas. To avoid this, always concentrate on the main points.
Consider rewriting your speech at least twice after you finish the first draft. Always keep in mind that the goal is to keep it brief. You should also emphasize your main points, clean up the organization, add more appropriate terms, etc. This can significantly improve your presentation skills.
4. Cue yourself
When it comes to public speaking, outlining cue cards is always a good idea. Whether you have ADHD or not, memorizing your speech word for word is dangerous. Put all the important points on cue cards, so you don't forget them.
It is also strongly advised that your cue cards be colorful. The same is true for highlighting the texts; doing so can help you instill in your mind that they are important. If you memorize your speech word for word, there is an adequate chance that your entire speech will be forgotten if you forget a few key terms. Moreover, it is a well-established fact that persons with ADHD have memory issues and easily forget things. You indeed need to familiarize yourself with your speech but don’t go for verbatim.
5. Record yourself
You can record yourself while speaking using any device, such as a digital camera, video camera, Webcam, or cassette recorder. Following the recording, watch the videos and make notes on what you like and dislike about them.
This is one of the most effective methods for identifying mistakes that must be corrected and positive aspects maintained. You should consider what can be improved to make your speech more engaging. You should pay special attention to the beginning and end of the speech. Not only do your words matter, but so do your gestures.
This process can help you familiarize your speech and identify your loopholes. This will stick with you if you watch the recorded video several times!
6. Keep constant eye contact
While you can't really practice in front of an audience, you can use your stuffed animals on your bed to practice if you are a young person. Place them in front of you as you deliver your speech, and imagine that they are the real human beings who will be watching your public speaking.
Maintain constant eye contact to train yourself to do so on the speech day. If you're going to hold your notes, practice maintaining eye contact after you've raised your head from the script.
For more information surrounding this subtopic, check out the article, "9 Tips To Improve Eye Contact During a Presentation"
7. Practice your timing
When it comes to public speaking, timing is everything as noted in the article Why Is Time Management Important in a Presentation. In that case, you will understand why speakers must stick to their allotted time.
People with ADHD frequently speak faster than normal, causing them to fall short of the time allotted and their speech to appear ineffective. Because they are nervous and want to leave the stage as soon as possible, they will frequently go from silent to lightning fast.
You'll need a small digital timer or a stopwatch on your phone to practice. You must speak slowly enough to be understood while speaking quickly enough to avoid going overboard. Time management is critical and should not be overlooked.
8. Visualize success
Imagine yourself succeeding rather than failing to deliver an effective speech the night before your speech. Visualize yourself in the classroom presenting and everyone is paying attention to you as you maintain constant eye contact. Imagine that everything you prepared for would be a success.
Believing in yourself is an important component of being a good public speaker. Believe me when I say that you are capable of much more than you believe. You've done enough preparation for the entire speech; trust yourself that you'll be able to deliver it effectively!
Public Speaking with ADHD: Final Thoughts
If you have ADHD, you know how difficult performing certain tasks and activities can be. You simply have to believe that you can be effective in public speaking with enough effort and determination.
One of the keys is following these 8 tips for becoming successful in public speaking if you have ADHD. It takes time to become an expert in the field of public speaking. But, in the end, you will notice that you are becoming more successful and public speaking will become much easier for you.
For more resources to develop your public speaking skills while you are in the comforts of your own home, please check out the article ‘Online Resources for Public Speaking’. You may also visit one of my articles on 'How Do I Stop My Heart From Racing When Public Speaking?'