Fears of Public Speaking
Journey of a Modern Teenager
First I should start off by saying that my experience is my own, not everyone elses. Also, I am in no way a professional or expert on the matter, but I drew this out of my own life. This is just a story about a teenage girl living in America and surviving high school.
I never thought I would have difficulty speaking in front of others, mostly because I have always been a loud and outrageous person at home, but when I entered high school I found that I was terrible at it. Once in English class my freshman year, I had to read a paragraph from The Odyssey in front of my peers. I got up from my seat, feeling the eyes watch me as I approached the stand, and placed my book down on the podium. I started to read. My voice quivered and my palms were sweaty, but I thought that if everyone else could do it, so could I. For a second, I looked up to see my classmates all reading along with me. I reached the last sentence, confidently mistook the word ‘beast’ for ‘breast’. Since I was in a class of teenagers, they all burst out laughing. I shrugged it off and went back to my seat as I thought it was good enough that I made the effort and got through the public speaking.
For that whole year, I had to speak in front of my classes for projects and reports. I thought that I could just get by reading fast and getting everything over with, but that was not enjoyable. I used to be in plays when I was little and entertaining a crowd was what I loved, though I never connected that and speaking to my class. It was almost the end of my first year of highschool when a poetry competition came around. Everyone was required to participate and for once I was excited. I wanted to test my theory about connecting theater with public speaking. When I got up to present my poem to the class, I imagined what the author was going through, what he felt like when he wrote it. Performing the poem was a lot more pleasant than just read it and I found that with every speaking project it makes it easier. I now perceive the audience as more of my friends than intimidating classmates.
About Mika: 15-year-old high school student who avid lover of writing, acting, music, traveling, nature and hula hooping. I’m from the middle of nowhere but that won’t stop me from changing the world one day.