My Biggest Fear

When she asked me if I was available to come to one of the high schools and speak at a meeting about our articulation program my heart dropped. Literally. I felt this cold wave of hysteria wash through my brain, my heart started beating fast, and my body temperature rose a few notches. Good thing I was sitting down because if not I might have fallen out. Yes, that bad. I am absolutely terrified of public speaking. Terrified.

I have acted in corporate video industrials, local TV commercials, done entire scenes in acting classes or for auditions and have modeled but the idea of speaking in front of a group of people is nerve racking. When I am acting or modeling I am trying to be someone else. I am putting on a facade. That's easy. But when I have to be me in front of a group of people and supposedly know what I am talking about that is a totally different ballgame for me.

I could have said no. My boss told me that I didn't have to do it but I knew that it would come up again down the road and be something looming ahead of me that I would have to do but was afraid of. So, I stalled for a bit but the next day I told her that I would do it. Even though everything inside of me was screaming "What the hell are you doing? Are you crazy?" I pushed through the fear and stuck to my decision to do it.

The best thing I could do to ease my nerves is be prepared. I wrote up a short script of things I wanted to talk about and practiced it. Very similar to what I would do if I were preparing for an acting audition. I printed my hand outs and make sure I knew them backwards and forwards. I know this stuff. I talk to teachers all the time over the phone and help them navigate this program. I can do this.

And that's exactly what I did. I arrived early. I didn't tell anyone how scared I was or that this is the first time I've ever had to do anything like this. It made me feel better to have them think that I knew what I was doing and that this was routine. I walked in and put the different websites up on the computer that was hooked up to the projector for display. I stood there with confidence and when the director introduced me to the group I smiled and jumped right in. My voice was confident. The paper that I was holding didn't shake. I took my time and I did a darn good job if I do say so myself. The director told me "I nailed it" as I walked out.

It was a roomful of about 10 people. Nothing major but to me this was huge. On my way back to the office I was smiling on the inside and outside. It is such a great feeling to have conquered my fear and to know that I actually can do something that I never thought I could.

I get so down on myself for so many things so much of the time. I sell myself short and I often can't see beyond my fears and perceived limitations but not this time. I exceeded my own expectations on how this presentation would go. I was the center of attention talking for about 45 minutes instructing teachers. Yes, little old office assistant me. I am pretty darn proud of myself at the moment and that feels amazing.

1 comment

Ms. Chouette said...

Glad you conquered your fears and congrats on making the speech