I tried to swallow,
but it seemed as if my throat had formed knots in it.
I tried to speak,
but my voice began to quiver with fear.
My hands began to shake,
There was little I could do to control them.
I could feel my face getting drenched;
I was sweating profusely.
I tried to recollect myself but I could no longer
remember what I was speaking about.
"I can't do this...." I said out loud.
I shamefully left the front of the classroom and returned back to my seat.
It was the first day of class, (I was new to the College world- a Freshman).
Our professor had given us 30 minutes to write about an event that was familiar to us. We were given instructions to go up in front of the class and give speeches. This wasn't graded but done in preparation (to show us what we needed to improve on during the course of this semester).
I saw every one go up....
Some people were great!
Others were just as nervous as me,
but you couldn't visually see the effects.
When everyone had given their speech, it was clear to see who was the worse.
It was me!
Although this was already my realization, that did not stop the Professor from pointing directly at me and saying,
"That is an example of how you fail the class".
Yep, just what I needed alright!
An embarassing experience now tattooed to me.
After the class ended, the Professor apologized to me.
This didn't change the fact that she added salt to my wound.
"I have to drop this course" I said to my Mom after explaining what
happened to me during my first day of College.
"No, you can't. This is something you have to face.
If you drop the course now, you'll eventually have to take it
at some point again.
You are already here"
My Mother said to me as we exchanged words over the phone.
I wanted to disagree.
But deep down I knew she was right.
"What good would it do if I dropped the course?
It was a requirement for my major, so there was no getting away
I'd have to face my fear now or later.
My thoughts of embarassment quickly shifted to those of determination.
I chose "now" to face my fear.
I had one week to prepare for the official speech in front of my class.
I knew I had to get myself together and fast!
There was no longer any point in dwelling on the past....
I had my future in sight.
I was going to do what I could to grab it in both hands and hold on to it.
How to get over fear of public speaking
JUST SOME TIP(S)
Pick a familiar topic
- When you are knowledgable about a topic, you tend to finish writing your speech quickier. This means you have more time to practice. The more you know your topic, the more confidence you will have when delivering.
Get it over with
- I liked to be one of first people to go up and give my speech.
I noticed my anxiety would continue to build when I watched people go.
Just stand up and get it over with.
Pep talk yourself before this.
You can do this!
You are ready!
No matter how nervous you are, always imagine good outcomes.
I noticed the longer I waited to give my speech, the more crowded the classroom would become. If you are one of the first people giving your speech, chances are there will be less people in the classroom (Although not a significant difference, this may work as an ease of mind for the extremely nervous).
Avoid mood altering substances
- If you're specifically drinking alcohol, coffee, or drugs in hopes of giving a better speech (or calming down) this is a very bad idea. Although there have been cases where this worked for some people, How do you know this will be your outcome? The fact of the matter is that, once these substances are in your blood stream there is very little you can do about it.
What if you went overboard and had a little too much?
You may be more prone to making mistakes or forgetting your topic.
Your relaxation may turn into sluggishness.
You may even start to get the jitters.
Don't do this to yourself!
- Do not wait until the last day to have your speech together. (That way you will have more time to practice).
Get a group of family members or friends, and rehearsh your speech in front of them (as much times as you can).
If you are unable to get a familiar group together, practice saying your speech out loud (imagine you are speaking to an audience). The more you rehearsh your speech, the less errors you will make during presentation.
This also helps in the fact that you will be more confident (because now you are beginning to know your topic like the back of your hand).
- Not every one is looking at you! (When giving your speech).
Some people's attention are diverted towards your prop, object, or equipment of some sort (that you are displaying).
Others are practically listening to you and occasionally looking. Not every one is penetrating you with their eyes during your speech! (So, get this thought out of your head!)
- What worked for me as a beginner was focusing on one or two people in the room when giving my speech. As I grew more comfortable speaking, I began to look around making eye contact with every one.
- The first 3 minutes of the speech is the worse (for those suffering from major anxiety). This is where you feel the most nervous. Just know, that feeling will get better. As you continue to talk about your topic you will see that (Yes, you are still alive), this isn't as bad as you thought! You will get so wrapped up into speaking about your topic that all of the pressure will continue to wear off. (It gets easier as you proceed).
GET PLENTY OF REST
- Get the full recommended amount of sleep.
- Eat a nice full breakfast in the morning.
If you feel good, chances are you will do good!
After delivering my speech I heard a loud round of applausal.
I had done it!
My confidence continued to grow as I delivered speech after speech throughout
I earned a solid "A" in speech class.
If I can do it!
You can do it!
Everyone is nervous.
That's a part of it!
How you conquer that nervousness is what really makes the difference.
Don't let emotions dictate how you handle your future.
Think in logic,
Have a plan,
You will get it done!