CMS 11 1512H
May 17, 2010
Title: “Three Ways to minimize stress during finals week”
Exact Purpose: After listening to my speech, the audience will learn of three different ways to minimize test related anxiety during finals week.
I. How many of us are overwhelmed when it is time for final exams?
II. Overall most college students have felt the effects of prolonged stress especially the week leading up to the actual exam.
III. Being a college student myself, I am all too aware of the negative effects of stress on studying and actual test taking.
IV. So today, I am going to discuss a few methods on minimizing stress and optimizing comfort to allow for a more productive you.
I. One method for minimizing stress is having realistic expectations towards outcomes.
A. for example, the pressure for someone that is ill prepared is much higher than that of a person who is prepared well in advance.
1. Last minute scrambling to complete work or studying for a test creates a sense of urgency and elevates stress levels by manifesting an expectation of failure.
2. This expectation of failure often leads to a self fulfilling prophecy in which the student brings to reality the fear that is anticipated.
B. In contrast, the student that is well prepared has a realistic expectation towards the outcome of their work.
1. Being prepared in advance eliminates this sense of urgency that elevates stress levels and allows for an expectation of success.
2. Confidence is derived from this expectation and leads the student down a more controlled and stress free sense of well being allowing for more positive outcomes.
(Transition) - realistic expectations lay the ground work for healthy thinking and leads us to our next method of stress reduction.
II. Our second method for minimizing stress is to focus on actions and not outcomes.
A. a sure fire way to get stressed out quick is to focus on potential outcomes that we can’t control.
1. Focusing on results instead of actions can lead to an emotional rollercoaster that will elevate stress levels.
2. Since results are out of our control and we are left feeling helpless due to this fact a stressful internal response is created.
B. Instead of worrying about uncontrollable results, focus your energies on the actions that will dictate the results hence giving the student control of something they can shape.
(Transition)- once we have focused our energies towards achieving realistic outcomes by utilizing the method of action focused thinking, our final method of stress reduction comes into play.
III. The third method of stress reduction is to make failure your friend.
A. failure, though unwanted is a normal part of a successful life.
1. Trial and error is a fundamental way we learn from our mistakes and grow as
2. By being comfortable with failure and not assigning unrealistic expectations towards its possibility can help to reduce the stress associated with failure.
B. By reducing the stress associated with anticipated failure one can then reduce the possibility of negative outcomes and self fulfilling prophesies.
I. In conclusion, by understanding the effects of stress and by utilizing these few methods of stress reduction which include having realistic expectations towards outcomes, focusing on actions instead of outcomes, and making failure your friend, the student can minimize stress during finals and focus on actions that will ensure a more positive outcome.
“ Test Taking and Anxiety.” PSU.edu 8 Jan. 2001. Penn State University. 20 May. 2010 <http://www.ulc.psu.edu/studyskills/test_taking.html>
“ A 101 strategies for coping with stress.” UMN.edu 20 Jun. 2003. University of Minnesota. 19 May. 2010 <http://www.uccs.umn.edu/oldsite/lasc/handouts/copingstress.html>
“ College Stress.” Txstate.edu Texas State University. 20 May. 2010 <http://www.counseling. txstate. edu /resources/shoverview/bro/collstress.html>