I was so psyched about not having to present at the meeting in Florida last week, then ended up having to present yesterday locally.

Although it turned out fine, I was still pretty stressed out beforehand, to the point that I took a Unisom the night before, not to help me fall asleep, but so that in the morning my nerves would be distracted by feeling tired and slightly spacey.

I’m starting to think I need to take a public speaking class. With my job it’s becoming more apparent that I can’t get away with not presenting. I hate that extremely nervous feeling I always get before I do it.

It doesn’t just go for presenting. I have this problem in meetings, in class (though less so), and sometimes in social situations in which I don’t know a lot of people or feel uncomfortable. It comes and goes. Perhaps I need to learn some techniques to make it happen less often.

People who aren’t shy don’t understand this, just as I don’t understand how one can be perfectly calm before going on stage. S. says he never feels nervous before a performance, just pumped and maybe worried that he’ll forget something, but not nervous like me. My fear is blanking or stumbling, and then getting those embarrassed looks from the audience.

I have to remind myself that I may be projecting, and even if they *are* embarrassed for me, it’s not because I blanked for a moment or stumbled, but because I probably look like I’m starting to freak out.

I thought about taking a stand up comedy class. S. has enjoyed his, and Mario Vasquez, this news reporter on CBS, suggested it in order to conquer fear of public speaking as well as to build skills for being an effective speech maker. He was an excellent speaker. Very natural and funny.

I’ve had this problem since I was kid. Throughout school we had to give oral reports and speeches, and I always did okay. Yes, I was very nervous beforehand but always did well, sometimes made people laugh. I don’t feel as successful with these work-related presentations. Maybe if I had something under my belt, like making people laugh from stage, then I’d feel more confident overall.

I was okay with teaching. In the beginning it was extremely nerve racking, but after a few weeks, I got the hang of it and it felt almost natural. Maybe because all I needed was a loose lesson plan, and then I was just talking off the top of my head. And people always had questions. I do better with just answering people’s questions than just lecturing.

The idea of a stand-up comedy class scares the bejeezus out of me. But some people are SO horrible. Cringingly bad. I can’t be worse than them.

~ ~ ~

On another note, my obsession with Flickr grows. I finally went “pro” and now have what seems like an unlimited capacity for uploading pix. Also, one of my photos got into Explore last week – yippee!

I joined a group, Mirror Views from a Street Mentality. I love taking pictures of reflections, which I often spot when I’m wandering around the city. So far I’ve sent two pix to them. Hopefully I’ll have more.

It’s come to this: I want a better camera. Mine is perfect for traveling since it’s so small, but because it’s so small, my pictures are not as sharp as they could be. And I have less control in terms of what I want to focus on. I’ll have to do some research on a fancier schmanicer camera.


  1. “But some people are SO horrible. Cringingly bad. I can’t be worse than them.”

    How true. I say go for it!

    How did you to explore already? That rocks. Rock on! I’ve never gotten one on explore, but I’d be honoured!

  2. i think it was pure luck re: explore. someone favorited the pic – maybe that’s how.

    will probably be my first and last time! but one can dream. :)

  3. i used to get physically sick before speaking to a crowd of strangers. i had to do it many times and practice the whole seminar beforehand many times and keep telling myself that i knew the topic better than the crowd. that and taking a public speaking class and realizing that even when you hear your voice shaking to high hell, most people won’t notice a thing. another problem is sweat!

  4. ah, sweat! another worry i hadn’t thought of. ;)

    a class seems to be the answer.

  5. […] three other people on my panel, and I was talking about stuff that I know. I’ve always had a fear of public speaking, made worse at my old job when I was often made to present on stuff I wasn’t too familiar […]