“They say that people’s number one fear is public speaking, and so guess what I get to do this week!”

LecternYeah, you guessed it – the number one fear is public speaking, and that’s exactly what I get to do this week. There’s just nothing I’d rather do than public speaking. Yeah, right. It terrifies me. What amazes me is that public speaking ranks higher on the fear scale than both financial ruin and death. So based on that, it would be preferable to die without a penny to your name than to get up in front of a group and speak to them. And I’ll give them that. The prospect of my time here on Earth coming to an end, with my soul going wherever it is supposed to go, and my body getting placed in a box or an urn or something and getting stuck in the ground is not nearly as frightening as the knowledge that I have to get up in front of my Foreign Policy class and give a presentation this week. And you’d think that in college, I’d get good at public speaking. Umm… no. If nothing else, it’s made me more scared of it than before. And recent occasions where I’ve had to speak publicly are not that good of inspiration, either. At our campus minister’s installation service, I was supposed to read a Bible passage. I got up there, totally lost what I was doing, and had to get refreshed on what I was supposed to do, and then still came off as highly nervous, and afraid I’d forget where to stop and keep going. Then there was a presentation last week for a different class that was really a fright for me, enough to cause physical ailments which we won’t go into here. Now I did what I felt comfortable with, and had prepared a script ahead of time. Not notes – a full script. However, when it came time to do the presentation, they turned the lights off in order for everyone to see the PowerPoint. The upside to that was that everyone could see the slides. The downside was that because the lights were out, and our slides had a dark background, that I was unable to see what I wrote for the presentation. I ended up nearly panicking and doing a lot of reading directly off the slides. And you wonder why my health temporarily took a dive with that one. And now this presentation… at least it’s the last one for the semester. And what’s funny is that when I was younger, I used to love doing my little oral free-writes in high school, and I actually was in the gifted-drama program in middle school. How I did it back then, I don’t know.

Date posted: April 27, 2003