Strangling the Pulpit: My Fear of Public Speaking

Do you like to speak in public? I do. It is such an adrenaline rush. I love it, but sometimes I get so nervous that I do a terrible job.

There was one time I was nearly cried at my own sob story while giving a speech in tenth grade. It was so embarrassing. And what is crazy is that I didn’t even feel sad. I wanted to grab myself by the face and yell, “Why are you crying in front of your whole class?”  

Then there was the time I was in college and I had to give a speech in front of the whole student body…I still kick myself about this one.

There I was standing in the middle of the stage in what felt like a bubble. Everything was blurry. I couldn’t see anybody’s face, and I could hardly make out my own scribbled notes.

All I want to know is how public speaking impaired my vision. Not only was my vision a goner, but my hearing was as well. I couldn’t hear anything except my pounding heart.

As I stood silently, somebody took that as their cue to turn on a giant spot light. The light stung my eyes and it felt like someone was holding a flash light right in front of me. I was blinking vigorously, and I’m sure everyone thought I had a nervous twitch.

After I recovered from the spot light, I opened my mouth. Words began to fall out, but I couldn’t even recognize my own voice because I sounded like a baby mouse. I was literally squeaking!

If that wasn’t bad enough, I tried to do a hand gesture. Only my pinky moved. I felt like I was twirling batons, but no one else noticed any movement.

As I sat nearly paralyzed (all except for my pinky), I decided it was time to make eye contact with the audience. Sadly, I looked like a turtle. My eyes were bulging, and when I saw everyone all I wanted to do was hide inside of my shell. Of course I didn’t have a shell so I decided hugging myself was the next best option. 

I knew it was bad and of course my mind was running wild. I contemplated running off of the stage all the while screaming at the top of my lungs, hands flailing above my head. I thought about crying, fainting, breathing into the microphone, or just standing in silence  until even the person in the last row could hear my heart beating.

Instead I strangled the pulpit as if my life depended on it. I murdered my speech and the only thing I motivated the audience to do was to get me off of the stage.

So my question for you is: Do you like to speak?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on public speaking.

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2 thoughts on “Strangling the Pulpit: My Fear of Public Speaking

  1. hahahahahahahah i seriously died laughing!!! I loved the part when you wanted to grab yourself by the face and yell at yourself….haha or when you didn’t know whether to pass out, breathe in the microphone….so funny! and you know you are an amazing public speaker!

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