Glossophobia -- the fear of public speaking.
I learned something about myself today --- public speaking and I do not mix In my mind I am always super confident. I think yeah no problem I don’t mind talking to a group, its easy, im going to be totally chill and funny. Then I get up there and freeze.
So today. I had to give a talk in church. It is probably going to be the last opportunity I will have to speak in my home ward in Washington. So I spent some time preparing this talk and at first I was a little shaky with the subject but by the end I was actually pretty pleased with what I had come up with. During the opening song, first speaker, I felt completely confident, even jotted down a few more things that came to mind. This was going to be way easy, good, take up probably close to the 10 minutes I was assigned. Then the first speaker ends, its my turn… and my heart starts racing. I walk to the pulpit…. Stare out at everyone. And mind goes completely blank, I almost even forgot the general authorities name that gave the talk I was speaking about. I tried to pull it together, look down at my notes that I had written, but couldn’t find what I had been thinking, so then I just kinda talked but my mind was going something kinda like this "man there are so many people, just staring at me, what am I even suppose to say, wow its hot in here, why did I wear 4 layers, I shoulda taken off this jacket, wow no one is smiling, they are all just staring, I must not be making sense, dang im sweating, I wonder if they can see the drops of sweat go down my face, its probably red, I need to sit down right now!”… so that is what I did, I bore a really fast testimony and sat down.. it felt like I had been up there forever…. Nope, not forever,more like 2 minutes… yeah one. TWO!. Im sure it was shorter than the youth speakers talk. I didn’t tell any of the stories I had written down, didn’t share any of the scriptures that I had taken such time to look up and fit in.oh it was bad.
My favorite part tho is after people came up and say I liked ur talk, or good job.. no no. u are lying, I know you are lying! It was not good. But that’s okay, because my grandparents also spoke and they needed more time than they would have gotten had a given a normal lengths talk. Plus I would much rather hear from them anyways.
I tried today to figure out what it is about public speaking that makes me so nervous, and I couldn’t really pinpoint it. I don’t know if its that everyone’s attention is on me, or my weird need to be perfect and say the right thing, or maybe it’s the fact that being in front of people and sharing my feelings makes me feel vulnerable and I don’t like that. Im not sure, but its something Im going to have to work on.
Another bonus ---> I am even more excited now to go on my mission because Im going to have to talk to people all day, some may even be big groups, and stepping outside of my comfort zone like that every day for 18 months, man that is going to make me such a better person/speaker. I have much room to be improved!
ps... Im crossing my fingers that my byu bishop doesn’t ask me to speak, please cross ur fingers for me plz&thx I don’t think I can handle that humiliation again. ; )
pps... Im even more nervous now for the Public Speaking class my major requires… ahhh.. I start shaking and sweating just thinking about it.
2 weeks ago