Shaking, Sweating and More Shaking

Public speaking scares the shit out of me. My heart thumps, my voice sounds strange in my own head, people look at me funny. My face starts to burn and turns a light pink, my mouth quivers and purses. I’ve been told that I look like a cats asshole.

Public speaking absolutely terrifies me.

But it is getting easier, and it’s getting easier because I’m forcing myself to keep doing it.

It’s getting easier because I’ve changed my approach. Instead of letting in the fear, I relish it in a sort of twisted way. When my heart starts thumping, I chuckle at myself. I say to myself — BE CALM. All you’ve got to do is talk. It’s just talking.

Then, I take a few deep breaths.

When I get up there, I slow myself down. I stand there, looking at all of those bored, expressionless faces, and I just keep talking.

Then I laugh to myself, because I know that it’s only going to get more boring.

I force myself to go on where I just don’t want to. I fall over my words. I’ll say something stupid, and I’ll make mental note to myself that I’m probably a moron.

But then today, something strange happened. After I’d fumbled around for awhile and my hand had finished shaking, I started to relax. I cracked a joke and I think a few people laughed.

Although I can’t be sure, my memory is usually the first thing to go when I’m having a fear-induced blackout.

I’d finished and I knew the talk was bad. My marker said it was fine, which in marker speak means it was somewhere between bad and fucking terrible. But that’s ok- because I know I’ll get better, if I just keep forcing myself. If I just keep getting up there, and keep shaking through it.

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