Cora Kearney
May 5, 2018 · 2 min read

Me stand up and speak in front of people?

During my first year in college at 38 years old I was faced with something I feared my whole life. We had to do presentations for nearly every subject and stand in front of a whole room full of people judging us and watching for every mistake; I was 38 years old in college, I had a pair of trousers at home older than one of my classmates. Deciding to go to college with brain damage was difficult, I struggled with short term memory, and my voice since I got fluid on my brain no longer sounded like my own voice.

It’s not a typical solution to fear of standing in front of people, but I had to do what worked so I became a minister of the word in my local church. Reading at mass was my first introduction to standing up in front of people to read and It was amazing how quickly I got used to it.

I learned all the important rules of public speaking at mass,

1 prepare your subject,

2 Practice

3 Present yourself with confidence and respect to your audience

4 Pause to gather yourself and the attention of the audience.

5 Present your topic and include your audience by making eye contact

By the time I was finished college I was still nervouse giving presentations, it’s completely normal, but I realised that everyone in the room is willing you to succeed, that no one knows your subject like you do, only you know if you’ve left something out and no one ever complained that it was too short.

I joined toastmasters last year and have given several public presentations since. It’s amazing the difference a few short years can make. I would encourage everyone to face their fears and conquer public speaking.