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

Overcoming my fear of public speaking

Let My Voice Be Heard!

“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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