Let My Voice Be Heard!
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Let My Voice Be Heard!

Overcoming my fear of public speaking

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Let My Voice Be Heard!
voice-matters

“Imagine the people in their underwear” is told to people who are afraid to go perform or give a presentation in front of a large group of people. Well, that is a load of “poop emoji”! I highly doubt that picturing someone in their undergarment is going to make them feel comfortable. I would know this because I used to get anxious and sweaty when I had to go present in front of my classmates.

I am a soft spoken person so when I thought I was talking loud and clear, I really was not. I would get super embarrassed when someone had to ask me to speak louder for the second or third time. Also, I would forget to breathe, my body would shake and only look at one thing or person. I would dread going in front of people and my anxiety would go through the roof. Let’s not forget that I would start blabbering and talk super fast, to the point that it was incomprehensible. Basically, I was hot a mess!

I have a lot of stories where I was a hot mess and sometimes my fear would affect others. For instance, in high school I was put in a group where we had to present this case and I was chosen to give the opening statement. I was obviously against this and asked to be given a different role but my request was denied. I was totally shaking when I went in front of my classmates and I had forgotten what I had to say. There were a lot of “ummms, like” and awkward silence. My poor job affected the group as a whole and points were deducted, which made me mad at myself and guilty for making the group receive a low grade because of me. I had decided that I needed to get over my fear. It’s not like I got over it all of a sudden but I took baby steps. I began raising my hand to participate here and there, took charge when I was placed in a group and began to gain some confidence in myself. I could not just be afraid for the rest of my life.

I could not bring that fear with me in college but that little brat followed me everywhere. I had to take a public speaking class for my general education requirement. Even though, I had gotten a little bit better at speaking in front of people, that course still made me afraid. But, I decided that I would not let my fear win at all cost. My first speech was about me, I had to talk about myself and my career choice. It seemed pretty easy because everyone can talk about themselves a little. I had everything prepared, had wrote down everything on index cards and was all set to go in front of strangers and tell them about myself. I was all set to volunteer to go up first but I wimped out and told myself that this person can go first. After, I saw that person speak, I started second guessing myself and nervous. When it was my turn to go up, my hands were clammy and could hear my heartbeat. I stood rigidly in the front, holding my index cards tightly and waiting for my professor to tell me to begin my speech. I started off steady, I only looked at my cards once but I did not get to talk about all the points I had written down. Towards the end, I had started talking fast, which my professor noted and asked me to slow down. After, I had given my speech, my professor said I did a good job but I had to work on being comfortable while standing and the way I go from talking steady to fast. But, overall I had done a good job. This gave me motivation to continue to keep working on eliminating my fear.

As I took more courses in college, I began to let go of my fear by facing it head on. I started to not get scared when I had to speak in front of an audience. To better my public speaking skill, at the place I was interning, I had to facilitate a conversation class. I helped people improve their English, my job requirement was to be standing in front of people and teaching them the rights and wrong of speaking English. I was basically a teacher. For a whole year, I had to conduct these types of classes, which helped me a lot. It improved my public speaking skill and my fear started going away little by little.

My fear of going in front of people and speaking prevented me from doing a lot. If I had not decided to get rid of it, I would not have been able to do my job correctly or would not even have applied for it. It was me who decided to make myself a better public speaker because at the end of the day I was the one who had to face the fear of mine. I could not stay hidden and let it consume me. Granted, I still get stuck here and there but I am not afraid to go up in front of an audience anymore. I want my voice heard by everyone!

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