I was asked to speak at a PFLAG meeting here in Bakersfield in March because I will be donating a percentage of all profits from my book to them and to the Bakersfield Gay & Lesbian center. When I told the guy who asked me to speak that I had a fear of public speaking, he mentioned that there would be a class February 15th and 16th at the Bakersfield AIDS Project. I was actually looking forward to that, unfortunately I’m sick right now and I don’t want to pass my germs to anyone who might be in that class.
I don’t know what date I will be speaking so I have at least a few weeks to prepare my speech. Writing a speech is a cake walk considering I blog all the time and because I wrote a 408 page book. The writing isn’t my concern, it’s standing in front of a very large group of people all looking at ME!
My problem is, when I am talking to a few people at a party, I know that I have people looking at me, it’s when the conversation stops in the party and everyone is listening and watching me, that’s when my brain stops functioning. All of a sudden my conversation is public and everyone is paying attention and I get nervous and start sweating and shaking.
I remember standing up in front of the class when I was in school and all eyes were on me as I was reading from the piece of paper that I wrote my report on and feeling uncomfortable. Suddenly I’m having a difficult time pronouncing words that I wrote down as if I had never seen the words before and I’m just learning how to read. It’s embarrassing as hell.
So, what I have to do is finish my speech, like yesterday, so I can start memorizing the words so I can just stand there and act as if I am speaking to one person in a conversation. I can do that. I was a telemarketer when I was in my early 20’s. I had read the spiel so many times that I had the whole thing memorized and I sounded as if I were having a regular conversation. All I have to do is read the speech 1000 times in the next few weeks so the words are burned into my brain. Of course I will bring cards with my speech printed on them just in case I get nervous and forget what I was saying. Let’s hope that isn’t the case.
I won’t be able to attend the class so let’s hope that I can overcome my fear of public speaking when I do it, just like I overcame my fear of heights the first time I traveled in an airplane in 2005. I can do it! I just have to convince myself of that.
Update: LOL I didn’t notice the subject was “Getting Reader For A Speech” because it was obviously supposed to be “Ready” so I fixed it minus the link.