Straight from the heart
The fear of public speaking is said to be the number one fear, even more than the fear of death.
We, a group of teachers, found ourselves at a workshop where the Resource Person asked us to come on to the stage and speak a few words about ourselves.
The irony was that while most of us were capable of going and lecturing to a class of students, we just could not muster the courage to speak before an audience we were not familiar with.
A few blessed ones were able to convey their thoughts with clarity but the majority of us refused to go up on stage before the public glare. We humans have many fears- fear of rejection, fear of being ridiculed, fear of appearing 'less than'. The list seems endless to an agitated mind.
Everyone wants to be appreciated and standing before a crowd with all eyes on you seems to be the perfect recipe for getting judged and rejected.
During the workshop, when volunteers were called to take front stage, I tried to make myself invisible, but funnily enough, as the workshop progressed, the Resource Person happened to make a point I just could not agree with.
Suddenly the tables were turned. Many other teachers began to debate the point and I found that my voice was being lost in the melee!
Before I knew what had happened I found myself right on stage with the rest of them and the best of them, determined to get my point across.
No sweaty palms or dilated eyelids now. Just the desire to make a very valid point clear to the audience.
As I stared at the crowd I had only one desire. To talk and express me!
Did I bother about whether my language was perfect? No! Did I stutter? Did I stammer? Oddly enough No again! All that mattered was being heard for the view I just had to share!
So how had I mustered the courage? Simple. Only by allowing the desire to share my voice become bigger than my small sense of self. Which goes to show that it is only when we are self-absorbed that we get really nervous.
When the content you need to share becomes bigger than you, the 'you' fades away and when you are not so caught up in yourself, where is the question of fear?
As John Ford puts it “You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.”