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The Fears Of Public Speaking: "The Lights, Their Eyes, And My Voice"

920 words - 4 pages

Like many, I can remember the time I stood in front of my classmates and recited a fourteen verse, Shakespeare poem. It was just hard to get over those uncontrollable pushes and pulls of nervousness when all eyes were on me. I could hear my shaky voice, the loud, off rhythm of my heartbeats, and the awkward silence. My eyes wandered around for some face to stare at before they found their comfortable position looking down at the floor. My hands squeezed one another tighter each time I paused to take a breath. That front stage experience wasn’t petrifying. It was just obvious that I was afraid of public speaking, and, unfortunately, I still am today. Speaking publically makes me feel uncomfortable, requires the delivery of personal opinion with the risk of harsh criticism, and is just one of those things I don’t like making a mistake in.
It’s important to make eye contact and to have the right facial expressions in the art of public speaking, but, for me, it is discomforting and can cause me to stutter a little and even make a contorted face. For example, last Thursday here in Speech class, I had to find a partner and stare into their eyes for thirty seconds. It wasn’t easy because I kept laughing, tapping my foot, and looking away. I tried to keep a smile, but slowly the muscles in my face tensed themselves out into an awkward frown. I was afraid of what the girl who was staring back into my eyes could see or what she found out about me at that moment. I almost wanted to tell her how my day was really going, but I couldn’t help but not show it. She was also probably wondering what her eyes might have been telling me. Well, that thirty-second stare was not only a good ice breaker for a public speaking class, but it also showed me how it can be uneasy to communicate publically while making good facial expressions and eye contact, even though I wasn’t actually moving my mouth.
Along with the discomfort I have from face to face communication, having to discuss topics that are highly controversial is another reason I fear public speaking. Voicing my opinion on big topics like drug legalization and birth control would allow listeners to be aware of my values, beliefs, what I stand for, what I oppose, and possibly even personal things that would make me want to bury my head into my hands. Of course, some listeners would agree or agree to an extent while others would disagree. Most of the time, speaking on these kind of topics ask for unwanted judgment and,...

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