Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Speaking in public

Originally posted to Xanga on December 5, 2007

I do public speaking competitively, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I mean, I love it, or rather, I love the concept, and I love the power that comes with being able to speak eloquently and persuasively. But at the same time, it freaks me out. Why the heck does public speaking freak us out so much?

I must have given far over fifty speeches thus far, but I still get nervous butterflies whenever I get up in front of a crowd. You think to yourself, "Gosh, they're all looking at me, expecting me to say something brilliant. Either that, or they're waiting to throw tomatoes at me." There's pressure in that, undue pressure just from caring about how your audience is going to react.

I've come to realize that you can't reach them all. Yeah, some people will think your speech was stupid, they'll call you out on the things you said, and if you let it bother you you stunt your potential to be an amazing public speaker. That's the attitude I've adopted -- I will speak my heart to these people, and if they listen, wonderful. If they hate me, or worse, if they don't listen, oh well.

I like attention, therefore, I like to have the platform. But with the power of the podium comes the responsibility to make it worth while. There's nothing worse than listening to someone talk because they like the sound of their voice. If you have a purpose and you have a message, there's no need to fear speaking in front of anyone. But it takes practice for said theory to prove itself true for you.

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