Friday, August 22, 2008

Public Speech

Did you know that Public Speech is one the most feared thing? It ranks higher than the fear of airplanes and snakes.

Who knew?

Some people are good at it and some people are not. Well... I suck at it. Sheer panic sets in. I sweat, I hyperventilate, I shake, I get hot flashes, I get chills. And this is all before the speech begins. Once I start, I forget things. I see all those eyes staring at me. I can have slides, notes, etc. But all is see is a blur. I fumble through it and after it is done, I feel drained. Like I just delivered a baby.

At least with delivering a baby, you can take certain drugs or epidural. Not so with this.

So I decided to take class to improve my skills. It was a great class. I had to give 3-4 speeches all together in 2 days. The first one, I prepared with a partner. I told him that I would blank out when I was speaking and he told me that he would give me a clue. I did blank out a couple of times. And he would say "Camera", "Joke", etc. I would remember and be on track again.

After the speech, the instructor gave me some pointers on handling the fear. He said, "If you lose your chain of thought, just tell the audience that you forgot what you were going to say. The audience will not care."

I got a little better after each speech.

The second day, I had to give a speech that I had prepared in the morning. He video taped it. I told the instructor to use the "thinning filter" because the camera always adds 10 pounds. He assured me he would.

I was still nervous but I made it OK. I cracked a couple of jokes. When I had a technical glitch, instead of panicking, I laughed and fixed it. Everyone laughed and loved the speech.

Then came the hard part. In a smaller group, we watched the video. I expected the worst. But much to my amazement, I looked totally in control. There were very little visible signs of nervousness. I totally faked it! I wasn't perfect. I should have smiled more or laughed more. I looked so serious. Even when I was cracking jokes.

I was so relieved! I know that I have to practice some more but I cannot believe how much progress I made in 2 days.

I went home, happy but exhausted.

And poured myself this...


"MoodyBlue" Jodi said...

Isn't it great that you were able to "fake them out?" LOL! When I have to do any type of public speaking I try to maintain my cool and "fake them out" all the while I'm dying inside.

Good for you though! I'm glad you made it through. You must be very proud of yourself and just know that you are only going to get better at doing it.

Scriber's Web said...

I was surprised how calm I looked.

The things we do to improve ourselves!


Have a great day!

Craig said...

I'm glad that you managed to cheat the system! I'm normally really bad, and it was only thanks to a psychology student I managed to get sorted by telling me what I was doing wrong... Still nervous though, but like you they keep saying it didn't show.

Keep it up!