Overcoming your fears

Never in my life, have I been a fan of standing up in front of a group of fifteen to twenty students staring, waiting for you to speak. When I did, I felt anxious about it, not knowing if I would embarrass myself or something like that. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I had that feeling all over again during the FIRST week of school. I came the first couple of days not expecting that I would be chosen to be one of the three presenters that would stand in front of the IA teachers, students, and alumni, to explain our IA culture.

Believe me, I was directly opposed to the idea of being one of the presenters, but as luck turns out, I had to do it. I figured that I wouldn’t be able to change my role, so I had to be able to just do it. Then, I was told that we were going to have to prototype the presentation a couple of times. On the first prototype, I felt quite nervous as you would guess. I managed to get through the presentation, not even fully knowing the topic I was explaining. To be honest, I was really lost in my first week of IA and understanding the whole iWeek thing was something I didn’t do until halfway through the second prototype. That part didn’t really help me with my fear of presenting in front of the whole class.

The good thing about prototyping was that I was able to practice the skills I needed in order to present correctly. There was still a really big concern that I had in mind during those first days of prototyping. I was still going to have to present to other grade levels’ IA students, teachers, and some alumni. It was a really big transition: from my classmates (that I already knew), to a bunch of strangers (not all of them were strangers, though) that were going to be judging my performance as well as the information we had on the slides. You would probably think that it would have freaked me out, and you are right.

The truth is that knowing how to speak in public is something that’s extremely important for the future, so I’ve learned that taking this risk was vital and the benefits outweighed my fears. You never really know the kinds of benefits and skills you could be gaining from new activities. Perhaps these activities scare you in some way, but you have to understand that the rewards that you get are very significant and it can help you succeed later in life.

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