My Battle with Public Speaking
Many people don’t enjoy public speaking. Many people avoid public speaking because it is intimidating or scary. Public speaking is something I don’t enjoy. I find it uncomfortable to be in front of people and have to talk about a topic. I’m not someone who enjoys being the centre of attention with all eyes on me. Although I am more comfortable speaking in public over the years, it is still not something I enjoy.
Public speaking is not something I enjoy because as a child, I didn’t have the confidence to speak in front large crowds. I get nervous when speaking in front my peers in a classroom, at a ceremony, or just introducing myself to people who are trying to learn more about me. It has been something that I have always dreaded and not been my strength. When I was in high school, I refused to participate in class discussions or speak up. I didn’t lack an opinion. It was that I was too nervous to express my opinions. My delivery of what I wanted to say never turned out the way I expected. I would stumble over my words and sometimes go off-topic throughout my speech. Sometimes I would read the entire speech as quickly as possible to avoid being too slow in front of everyone.
All through high school English class, my teachers did not require us to speak up in English classes. They should have, because I believe I would have been a better public speaker today if they had. JROTC was a class that I found helpful in my high school. It helped me build self-confidence, and made me more comfortable speaking in front of an audience. My JROTC class required us to present every lesson we had learned that week. My JROTC teacher saw how nervous I was and gave me some tips on how to get better. This advice is still valuable to me today. His advice is still very valuable to me today. He advised me to take your time and speak clearly, confidently. He advised me to make eye contact with the people. He stated that eye contact with the crowd would increase their interest in the topic under discussion.
After I joined the United States Air Force, my confidence in public speaking increased tremendously. It has been a great learning experience to watch many speakers, participate in briefings, and take leadership classes. I have also learned a lot from the class by asking questions about their techniques and how they do it. When I have to present to my peers or a group of people, it is not as nerve-wracking or intimidating. I make sure that my speeches are worth hearing. I ensure that the audience understands what my speech is all about. I have a plan of what I’m going to say for each presentation.
I want to be able hear the speaker clearly when I’m in the audience. It is important that speakers are able to make eye contact with the audience and not just read through a PowerPoint or a piece paper word for word. If a speaker is reading everything word-for-word and not engaging with the audience or speaking in a monotone voice, it makes me tired and I stop paying attention. Inspirational or motivational speeches are the most popular types of speeches that I listen to. These speeches inspire me and make me feel inspired by their words. The speaker inspires me and I have a better understanding of their topic. The speaker is always engaging with the audience and asking questions to get us more involved. This inspires me to give public speeches more like them.
Although public speaking is not something I enjoy, I have found that I am more comfortable doing it over the years. I can now speak confidently than ever before. I am grateful for the people around me who have helped me become a better public speaker. I believe that practice makes perfect. With continued practice, I won’t be nervous speaking in front of large audiences. To improve my leadership skills, I will continue to use my experience from other public speaking events. I encourage others who struggle with public speaking, like me, to keep trying. You too can succeed.