So, I wrote this as my main college essay and it is about my fear of public speaking. Glossophobia is the phobia of public speaking.
Even now, recalling the times I was afraid to speak in public makes my heart pound and my hands shake. I would prefer to forget these humiliating and unnerving memories. I have always dreaded presentations, but one presentation about my family tree, in Spanish class, was the worst. I had never been so nervous in my entire life.
When my name was called, my world seemed to crash upon me as I stood up. Glancing around, I could feel my classmates watching me. My hands shook and my cheeks pounded with blood. I tried to speak, not a word came out. Humiliation flooded my body. My throat was locked and I felt dizzy.
Holding up a finger to my spanish teacher, I took several deep breaths, trying to calm myself. I had to finish this presentation before I fainted. Somehow, I got through it. When it was over, I scurried to my seat, eyes locked on my desk, tears in my eyes. After class, I rushed out of the classroom, the air suffocating me.
After that disaster, public speaking became even more nerve-wracking. I knew I needed to learn how to manage my fear. It was then that I decided I was going to try out for a role in the spring show, The Curious Savage! I always loved being in the chorus in our school musicals. Trying out for a speaking role, I hoped, would help diminish my glossophobia (fear of public speaking).
Audition day! The ominous black doors of the theatre seemed to stare at me. I gulped loudly. Thoughts of leaving rushed to the front of my mind, calling me, taunting me, wanting my attention. Every cell in my body was willing me to turn around before I suffered total humiliation. Standing up straight I took a deep breath and a step forward… two steps… …another. My shaky hands reached for the door handle and all second thoughts flew out the window.
“Five minutes until the house is open,” my director told us. My dread of performing tonight was back, full force. Deep breaths! I understood that I needed to get in the zone and forget about the audience in order to calm myself down. Chanting positive thoughts in my mind helped me start to get back to normal.
Palms sweaty, mouth dry, and hands shaky as I held my paintbrush in my hand, I started to repeat my encouraging mantra. Be loud! Enunciate! Lights on! Pay attention! My cue for my first line! I stood up from my easel, on wobbly legs; I focused on the blinking red light at the back of the auditorium. I spoke. “I hate everything in the world, but most of all I hate: cold cream, hot dogs, cod fish…and electricity.” My line flowed off my tongue so well that no one would have known that I was nervous. The rest of the show went smoothly, it seemed as though my worries dissolved with that first scene, and the rest was a happy blur.
I cannot say that performing in The Curious Savage cured my fear of public speaking. I am still uncomfortable with it, and there are times when I lose ground. Instead of giving up, I continue to try out for plays and to push myself through uncomfortable situations. I have now seen how rewarding it is to leave my comfort zone to pursue new activities and opportunities, which hopefully will serve me well in college.