couldn’t breathe, turned deep red, forgot what I was going to say.
The instructor looked up at me and asked, “do you want to start over?” and I told her no. But I stood there trying to regain my composure while the rest of the class looked onward, a mix of apprehensive encouragement and “Oh come on, get it over with already.” The instructor asked again, “Would you like someone else to go first?” And, still unable to regain my breath, said sure. Totally defeated. The next speech went on, a topic about bipolar disorder. How will I match this, I asked myself. The other topics before me were hard-hitting; anorexia, bi-racial stereotyping, inner city violence, and drugs. I was speaking about euthanizing my beloved cat of 14 years. Will anyone understand me? I was shaking. Nervous. My palms were sweating and as I sat down I heard my peers whisper “You’ll be fine. Go on, and do it.” The other speech had finished. My instructor looked at me, and said, “It’s only us. You can do this. Don’t be scared.”
So I stood at the podium and delivered my first line. “According to the ASPCA, approximately 3-4 million animals are euthanized in a single year in the U.S.” The rest of the speech is muddled to me, I finished over the time limit and stammered with my last few lines- meant to be my dynamo, to deliver the most impact.
Public speaking experience #1: only a small roadblock. My classmates offered, “Good job,” and “That was great, I’m glad you went back up there.”
Public speaking is terrifying, especially when it’s personal.
I was young and you were older We had some fun times, sooner or later I could have told you You were the one then I fell fast and you fell faster It wasn’t true love just like that, It was a disaster and Now you’re on the run
I remember we were driving It was a warm day, I can bet you Can’t remember the things I tried to say Just last week I brushed your shoulder On the busy street, it’s no wonder You didn’t even blink Oh, what a dirty thing
Sometimes I wonder where you’ve gone Sometimes I wonder And then I think about everyone As was in that summer