If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that last week I had to set a leadership goal for this semester. Creating that goal is part of my scholarship program, but thinking about things you want to achieve is never a bad thing. I decided that I want to focus on improving my public speaking skills, especially learning to not shake in front of a crowd.
See, it’s not really that I’m nervous. I love talking to people; I’m a super extrovert. My thoughts are calm, and being in front of an audience makes me feel more excited than panicked. But I get on stage (or in front of a room), start the presentation, and my body trembles.
And then my voice trembles. And then I get frustrated because I don’t want people to think I’m nervous when I’m not nervous. And then I start thinking about what people are thinking–which I wasn’t before, but now I’m shaking–and then I get nervous.
It’s a terrible cycle. One that I want to beat.
The best way to overcome a fear of public speaking is to speak in public. So I’m pushing myself to do just that.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I got a job as a campus rep. I now work for WayUp, a job/internship listing site designed for college students and recent grads. It’s an awesome way to find positions easily, since you can apply with one click and they send you emails with updates on new openings in your interest areas. It takes all the stress out of the job search process and also breaks the cycle of needing work experience to gain work experience.
A big part of that position is making presentations to different groups on campus. I’ve already given 9 presentations in a week of being employed, and it’s gotten a lot easier to speak in front of groups.
In fact, when I got up to read a poem in my slam poetry club this week, I didn’t shake at all. I felt a little vulnerable, but I didn’t shake.
If we were having coffee, I’d turn it over to you. What personal goals are you working on? Are you afraid of public speaking?