I read a lot that public speaking is one of the biggest fears a person can have. While in the class, I have to stand up and speak before an audience daily, this doesn’t register for me any fear. What does get me a little nervous, but mostly excited and adrenaline rushed is the thought of getting up in front of my educational colleagues and presenting. I feel the most secure in front of my own staff, most of whom I know reasonably well. The unknown factor plays in when I present to a mostly “unknown” audience.
What has me on this topic today? Well, a trusted and respected colleague of mine has suggested we collaborate to submit a proposal for an upcoming conference in the fall. This has me excited for the possibilities. We share an appreciation to support special education and at-risk students, having worked in that setting for a number of years together. We also share a desire to integrate and use forms of technology to help engage our students. We have both presented at conferences in the past and sometimes are each other’s best cheerleader.
We are mulling our options to submit a joint proposal. This has me feeling like a student again! I want (and need) to get my research together, a focussed goal, resources, and a plan of action. I can’t get bogged down in too many details, but rather a strategy to create a presentation that can most help and encourage or inspire those who come to listen.
Then that excitement/fear sets in. I love what I do and hope I express that when I do deliver my content. What I can’t control is the reaction to my ideas. Public speaking leaves me open to some criticism and sometimes my soul is a delicate flower. I have been known to dwell on a few negative comments, but didn’t seem to appreciate the overall positive reaction. I’m open to suggestions about my topics, to constructive debate, but need to feel more secure in my process and not let negativity mar the experience.
As the due date to submit draws near, I must decide whether to overcome the fear of my ideas being rejected or wait and build some confidence and let my colleague shine (as she already does) on her own. I feel like a student before my big presentation, hoping it all goes well. I guess it’s also true that you should never forget where you come from, it’s a humbling experience.