Public speaking

I may be a bit eccentric and goofy.  I may even be a tad unique and easy to talk to.  I may even dress up and act like a buffoon. But get me in front of a group of my peers and make me speak- I get nervous as hell.  Especially if I have to talk about myself.  I don’t know why this happens, but it does.  

I rehearse and practice what I need to say over and over in my head.  Then when I speak, I rush through to get it over with.  I hate that I do this.  It’s something I’ve always done.  From my school days of project presentations to company meetings.  I speed up and stumble my way through what I need to say.  There is no reason for my anxiety that I can find.  

At one point in my life when I worked at the movie theater, I had to go introduce the movies and give away prizes to a full auditorium of strangers.  No issues whatsoever.  People would heckle me, and I’d throw jabs right back.  I even introduced musicians to crowds of people without a problem.

I’m always drawing attention to myself on a regular basis.  I stand out in the crowd.  Friends just expect me to be witty and crazy.  But I just can’t get past why I get scared and nervous when I have to speak in front of people I know.  

The were two times this didn’t happen.  Once was when I spoke at my father’s funeral fifteen years ago.  The audience was a mix of a few family members, friends and complete strangers.  The only thing that was different was that by the end of my speech, I began to cry.  And it made others cry.  Not because of what I said, but because my emotions were coming through in my voice.

The second time was when I spoke at my wedding a few moths later.  Again, by the end of the speech I was talking about my father and it brought my emotions forward.  Or perhaps it could have been the fact that our bartender kept our wine glasses full the entire night and that gave me the courage to speak publicly to friends & family.

I would like to get over this issue.  Maybe one day I will.  Or maybe I’ll just avoid it like I usually do.  That’s so much easier.

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