Giving A Speech: As Told By Schmidt
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Giving A Speech: As Told By Schmidt

You could do this public speaking thing all day, son. All day.

Giving A Speech: As Told By Schmidt

Call me crazy, but I would assume that most people are afraid of formal public speaking. Talking in front of friends is easy, raising your hand and asking a question in front of a class is easy and standing on a stage in front of people is easy. But I'll be first to admit that I am terrified of speaking in front of crowds when it counts for something. Our favorite guy, Schmidt, is here to explain what the formal speech giving process is like (for those of us with speech anxiety, at least):

Your teacher officially announces the guidelines and due date of your speech, and you die a little on the inside.

You start to sort through potential topics in your mind, but nothing seems to spike your interest.

You were going to go ahead and knock the speech out so you wouldn't have to worry about it, but your friends want you to go out with them. You stop trying to get ahead on the speech, and you decide to let loose for a bit. So you decide you'll just wait and do it next week... or maybe the next week?

Those weeks sure did go by quickly. Your speech is due in three days. Ready, set, panic.

You finally figure out a topic, but you can't think of an introduction. Every time you get something going in your head, a loud commercial comes on or your mom calls you, making you forget everything.

You somehow crank out a well-written speech. You don't really know how, but it happened. This is when you might get a little too confident in your scholar abilities.

You practice your speech out loud while your friends are watching television, but you think they're paying attention to you. Well, first, they're not. Second, they told you that you did well, because they're good friends. Third, you stuttered the whole time, and your speech was four minutes too long. But hey, you made it through, so you're proud of yourself.

Your confidence in your speech is inspiring, but your speech isn't quite there. You call your mom so she can listen to it, and she does what all moms do. She gives you constructive criticism that rubs you the wrong way. She means well, and she thinks she's helping, but you snap at her because you know your speech is good. Really good.

You put the critiques behind you, and you move on with your life. You made it to speech day. Congratulations! You see that you're supposed to go first. Wait, you aren't ready to go first... you aren't ready for this at all. Why is there such a huge knot in your stomach? Why are your hands sweating? Your nerves are acting up, so you flail around a bit to get some jitters out.

You're still sweating when you stand up to speak. Your voice trembles from the introduction all the way to your second main point. You're freaking out because you can't stop your nerves from interfering with your speech delivery.

Your nerves settle down a little when you're nearing the conclusion of your speech. Finally, right? You're on your last sentence now. This is one of the most important parts of your speech: the convicting statement that will stick in the back of your audience's mind. Halfway through your sentence, you pronounce one word wrong, then stutter a couple times trying to say it the right way. Finally, you scream out that one word, probably scaring the audience a little, but definitely making your final statement stick in your mind.

You stand at the front of the room as the audience (or the half of the audience that isn't asleep) claps for you. Ah, there's that pride again. You're ignoring the disappointed look on your speech teacher's face and concentrating on the fact that you successfully made it through your speech without passing out.

You're quick to tell all of your friends, your roommates and your parents how well you did. This, my friend, is living.

A couple days later, you get the email that says your speech grade has been updated. You know you crushed it, so you know you'll see an "A" pop up on your screen. You can't contain the excitement you feel when you click the link to see your grade.

Some of you may see that "A" that you wanted so badly. Those of you who aren't that lucky, like myself, may see a grade that makes you very sad. Hopefully that doesn't happen. But hey, it's a cruel world out there.

You get over it, though. Your wounds heal and you begin to feel okay with the world again. Then, your teacher announces the guidelines and due date of the next speech, and...

Hey, just do enough to pass the class. The pain will be over in a couple of months!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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