Thursday, April 10, 2014

Public Speaking (An Anxious Tale)

Tomorrow is presentation day in my Program Planning and Implementation class. My small group has spent the semester designing a program to increase college males' vaccination against HPV. (PSA - tell your male friends <26 to get vaccinated.) 

But they wouldn't if they were vaccinated! 

It's a solid program, I think. I'm just so damn nervous to get up in front of my class and talk about it! 

I am such an awkward person. Introvert at heart, I hate public speaking. My voice gets all high pitched and valley girl when I try to project. I get all flushed. I trip over my words. My mouth gets all dry. My heart races. It's embarrassing. 

This doesn't even happen when I drink. Just when I public speak. 

I noticed during my last presentation just how much people stare back at you with their resting bitch faces. No one is interested. No one smiles warm smiles of encouragement. Their faces say that you and your presentation are boring, and they can't wait for you to finish up already. I think it would be so much easier if the audience just looked nice. Being the center of attention isn't my favorite, but even more so, I don't like being a boring center of attention. I don't mind if people pay attention to me because I'm a great line dancer after a drink or two, but I hate when they pay attention to me just because they have to.  #introvertproblems 

I've heard the old suggestions - imagine everyone in their underwear, imagine everyone naked! Gross, more gross. Record yourself and watch it back to make improvements! Hi, I have anxiety, and this would make it even worse. 

Fingers crossed I don't have any flashes of nudity while I'm in front of my class tomorrow. I don't need to turn an even darker shade of red. 

How do you handle public speaking? What are some things that have worked for you? 

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