Speaking to an audience can be a nerve racking experience, just ask my eleven-year-old. This week he stood in front of his sixth grade class, giving a report on the science project of his choice.
I made him practice, and practice, and practice, oh and PRACTICE his oral report to me. So much so, the kid was sick of me saying, “Do it again,” but I know the best way to overcome nerves is preparation. If you walk into a public arena unprepared, it won’t go well, unless you’re really good at “winging it”. Trust me, very, very few people can do this, so it’s best to just prepare. While standing in front of a large audience is the last place you want to be figuring out you don’t have the ability to ad-lib.
Anyway…even with all the practice, my little man looked like a scared deer in a room full of cougars when he stood up to give his presentation. I sat in the back smiling, trying to prompt him to do the same. But those quivering lips he had on wouldn’t comply. Or maybe, it was because the fear had glossed over his vision and he couldn’t see mommy in the back trying to help him.
It felt like forever, but it was probably more like thirty-seconds when he suddenly started talking. His words were quiet at first, but like a robot repeating the practiced inflections I’d showed him, he gave his speech with his lifeless arms down by his sides. It was awesomely comical. Though I can’t say I blame him, people are scary. That’s why blogs are so great. You can talk to an audience without hundreds of beady little eyes staring back at you. Ahhh…the written word.