By virtue of my career as a student affairs professional, I speak in public. A lot. As in, every single quarter in front of anywhere from 50-200 students, welcoming them to campus at Orientation. Also, as in every single quarter in front of classes of Career Management Seminar students, urging them to get involved in campus life.
I felt nervous the first couple of times, but as they became second nature, these redundant speeches ceased to strike fear in my heart. On one interesting occasion, I was lucky enough to rap the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" Theme song in front of 400 students on their first day of school. I became "that lady who did that thing, oh yeah." It won me a lot of points, I must say.
For our Leadership program, we were charged with the dreaded Public Speaking as an assignment. We had to make a PowerPoint/Prezi about our ideal job (not necessarily at our employer) and convince an imaginary hiring committee (everyone else in the program) as to why they should hire us. A special guest professor gave us on-the-spot feedback. Somehow, some way, this made me incredibly nervous. "I speak in public ALL the time!" I thought. Sure, I get nervous in a group setting when I feel like chiming in and am scared of the outcome, but come on, this is my job. I GOT this.
No, I don't got this. I was so nervous. I had severe anxiety (should not have drank Starbucks that morning.) I practiced controlled nasal breathing and positive self-talk the entire day until I had to present. Nothing worked. Terrible.
I gave my presentation, and felt like I did okay. I did realize I was barely breathing. But, whatevs. My feedback: I talked wayyyy to fast and I didn't breathe and sounded nervous.
This is the same feedback I received in my very first Communications 101 public speaking assignment in college. TWELVE years ago. I am dissappoint.
If I am inherently bad at this, and inherently a scaredy cat after twelve years of public speaking experience... am I just screwed?
The answer is I have no idea. Sorry, dear reader, this is not meant to have the same jolly self-help, silver-lining tone of my earlier posts. I am truly at a loss.
The great thing is, I am not alone. The greater thing is, this is Biology. Nothing like Science to help shed any sense of personal accountability. I am into it!
Please see this wonderful video, shared by same terror-inducing faculty person who gave us this assignment:
That being said, this is the last week before our final presentation. The presentation in front of every single Super Important Person at our college. The people who sign my paycheck. Yep, not nervous at all.
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I am a tech pro, blogger, DIY'er, reader, TV binger, music lover, nerd and semi-crunchy mom. I write about professional development, being crafty, motherhood and politics. Thanks for joining me and letting me share my thoughts with you!