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Public Speaking Experience Essay

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Ever since I was a child, I have been absolutely terrified by the idea of public speaking. It’s a common fear for many, but whenever I had to present a book report or science project, I was so scared I became nauseated. I would shake uncontrollably, face turning so red that it was hot to the touch, and the shaking would not stop until several minutes after I was the center of attention, often taking nearly half an hour to subside completely. I remember always hiding behind my friends or the poster board in group presentations, and when it was my turn to talk my face would usually be partially hidden behind whatever piece of paper was nearest to me. Luckily, there were not many required speeches or oral reports in grade school or middle…show more content…
The feedback reflected this apparent lack of caring on my part, but I was fine with that. I just wanted to get through the class. However, two weeks later, we were assigned our first long, memorized speech. I rehearsed over and over with a timer, speaking to a mirror, and I thought I was prepared. But then I walked into class, and the nerves suddenly hit me so hard that I felt physically ill. I managed to postpone my speech until the next class, which was a massive mistake: by the next class, I had forgotten part of my…show more content…
Calling up the disinterested face I kept on hand, I began. The first part of my speech went shockingly smoothly, and I sailed through the middle with no problems, but then I began to falter. I had lost my place, and I could slowly feel my face heating up. After a couple seconds of stuttering pathetically, I could not keep going anymore. I was vibrating with nerves, and an anxiety attack set in in front of the entire class. I turned away so they could not see the tears in my eyes, nor see me struggling to breathe from anxiety. Slowly, I calmed down and returned to my desk while avoiding anyone’s eye. The teacher made a few encouraging remarks, saying that this happened to lots of people and that it was no big deal, but to me, it was everything. I felt hyper-aware of everyone’s gaze and probable judgment and raced out of class the second the bell rang. I was terrified of returning to class, and of what my peers would think. Would they judge me, or think I was weak? I almost skipped the next class, so afraid of mocking or laughter, but forced myself to walk in, head up high, and face whatever they would
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