Fear of public speaking


Does public speaking scare you? Months ago I was approached by a conservation centre http://pensychnant.co.uk/home.html?LMCL=gZFN_l to do a talk to their supporters about the threats that orangutans face in their struggle for survival. The last time I spoke in front of anyone, was presenting my university dissertation plans for 'The ethnobotany of Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis (ayahuasca)' to some professors and my peers, which although was only all of 4 people, scared the hell out of me! I'm an introvert, and speaking to a crowd, or being on stage, is always something I've tried my best to avoid. I even made sure that I was half way across the world at the time of my graduation, so there was no chance I'd need to go on stage in cap and gown and receive my degree (much to the disappointment of my parents!).
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I thought I'd sleep on the invite though, and woke to think that speaking about orangutans would be of benefit to them, and to the charities I could promote during my talk, so confirmed I'd do it, and would somehow cope with the lack of confidence I felt! Well the date came around quickly, and last night the time had arrived! I drove through heavy rain and flooding, and up a dirt track on a mountainside, through woodlands, and finally got to the beautiful, secluded old house where I was to speak.
During the last week, technology has been against me, with my phone giving up and refusing to work, and my laptop deciding that it was unhappy with it's latest update, and wasn't going to cooperate at all! I thankfully had my slideshow saved on a memory stick, and somehow fixed my laptop, and amazingly, all worked smoothly during the talk :-)
The bad weather and road conditions sadly deterred some from attending, but I still had a small audience of 10 or so who'd braved the rain to come and listen.
So I spoke about how I came to start our tour company, http://www.wildorangutantours.com , and why I was passionate about orangutans. I spoke of the threats to their existence, but also the hope there is of their survival against the odds.
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I spoke for 40 minutes, but it felt like 5 minutes - I think I hardly took a breath due to nerves! The audience were lovely :-) They seemed really interested and entertained, and said it was great to listen to a heartfelt and passionate talk, rather than just be lectured to for a change :-)
I was told that I should speak to more conservation and natural history groups, as I gave a great talk! I guess my confident mask worked well for the night then :-) Today though, I am recovering by staying home and cosy, firmly back inside my comfortable bubble again, boardgaming and crafting with the children, and hoping that despite being glad I did it, I just say no if I'm asked to talk again - it's far too worrying a thing for me to do often!


Comments 6


It gets easier the more you do it, and even easier when you forget about "them" and just choose one face in the audience to speak to. Well done you!! It's important to face that one and the world needs to hear more from you. Rest. Well deserved, it seems. :)



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26.10.2019 14:59
1

Well done for stepping up to the challenge. I'd have probably been a gibbering mess and I can fully understand the need to relax and recuperate.

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27.10.2019 12:14
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30.10.2019 04:58
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Thanks :-)

30.10.2019 10:01
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