By: Revanche

Is (sort of) public speaking worth $98?

October 26, 2007

For those of you who don’t already know this, I hate speaking in front of crowds. (And three is definitely a crowd.) I avoid it even more assiduously than I would the plague or getting my sandal caught in the back wheel of a racing motorcycle. In fact, if you gave me the choice between speaking in front of a lot of people, or hanging out in an enclosed area with a possibly rabid critter, the odds are great that I’d choose the rabid critter. Unless it was a snake. But they can’t have rabies, so that’s beside the point. I’m rambling because even the thought of public speaking makes me nervous.

The point is, I hate hate hate public speaking. And that brings me to what I’ve agreed to do two Saturdays hence. CoworkerFriend called to tell me that he was offered a position as a proctor for the SATs and knew of another slot open, if I were interested. Ever since I lost the overtime privilege at work, paychecks have been about a quarter of their usual value. An extra hundred bucks, give or take, didn’t sound so bad, until I realized that it entails speaking. Speaking in front of adolescents. A lot of them.

Yes, I’m just to read instructions, check a timer and write on the board, but it still requires being at the front of a classroom and “orating” to a bunch of kids. Like back in high school. You know, where I really LOVED that kind of attention being paid me.

Argh! There so many other things, anonymous computery things, that I’d much rather do using much more effort and much less talking out loud to people I don’t know.

Why am I so nervous? Heckling? Kids not listening? Tripping over my own words? I do that sometimes, on the phone. I’ll get some mangled version of my name out and hope the other person doesn’t notice. It’s still pretty embarrassing, though. I suppose I wouldn’t care about any heckling, I could theoretically just kick the kid out. Honestly, with some of my friends, heckling should be par for the course. I just get the shivers thinking about all those eyes, staring at me. Yuck yuck yuck! And no, I can’t just imagine they’re all in their underwear, they’re underage so that’s even more wrong than usual. *igh*

Well, I’ve been all wrought up about how I’m still awful at toasts, and that’s just in front of a small group of people I see everyday. I obviously need to break this phobia somehow, what better way than to do it in front of a group of kids I’ll never see again? And it’s not like I’ve got to do anything original, I just have to read off a booklet. *breathe* I can do this. Really. I can. Maybe this will be the beginning of the end of my phobia? Wish me luck!

8 Responses to “Is (sort of) public speaking worth $98?”

  1. Kacie says:

    That can certainly be nerve-wracking. But remember–these kids are taking the SAT–a super nerve-wracking exam that they’re probably stressed about. After all, it does have a pretty big impact on their futures.

    You can totally do this. Try to think confident thoughts, and be glad you don’t have to take a test!

  2. *nod nod*

    GOOD LUCK 🙂 I really hope it goes well for you. What works for me, is pretending that they’re all my friends and/or nephews/nieces…. Usually works. I get more nervous around older, more experienced folks.

  3. Oh, and talk slower than normal 🙂 When I’m nervous, I tend to speed up but I think it’s “normal” until I catch someone’s face giving me the “What the hell are you saying!?” look…

  4. Sistah Ant says:

    Ms. MD, those kids aren’t thinking about you, they’re trying not to bomb on the biggest test of their lives thus far. You will be okay if you stay calm and remember that.

  5. SavingDiva says:

    I used to be frightened of speaking in front of groups as well. The way that I got over it was actually doing it. While your heart will be pounding, palms sweating, eventually you’ll get over it…

  6. ~kacie & Sistah Ant~ Remembering that the kids should be more nervous about their test than I should be about being there is probably the ONLY reason I’m still thinking that I have to do this.
    How sad that I’d rather be the one taking the test!!

    ~FB~ Ooh, good point. I need to speak slowly, and speak up too. I get all quiet and mumbly when I’m freaked out.

    ~SavingDiva~ This’ll be training camp. If I keep forcing myself to do it, I should get over it, right?

  7. Practice makes perfect. Just do it.

  8. I think you’ll do great 🙂 You already know the material, just rock it!!

    Wear a power outfit lol

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