We all, or at least most of us, have taken a speech class. What a drag! No one likes getting up in front of a class full of strangers and talking to them about irrelevant topics for 3-5 minutes or longer. But we’ve all got to do it.

My freshman year of college I had to take a speech class. Boy was I nervous! First of all, I hate presenting projects and giving speeches because I have stage fright. Second, I don’t see the point in giving a speech about Olympic Athletes when probably none of the kids in that class are ever going to go to the Olympics. But it’s required so we all have to suffer through.

By the time our first speeches came around I was panicking. Talk about a mental breakdown. I was stressing over the fact that I had to get up and talk in front of a class of like 27 people. I know, you guys are probably thinking that’s not a whole lot of people, but in mind it felt like 27,000. I was so nervous. When it came time to practice I got my friend Alexis to help me with my speech. But I knew no matter how many times I practiced, giving the actual speech was going to be horrible. It did help having Alexis there because she kept giving me compliments.

Speech day comes and I’m up next. My stomach is literally turning and my hands are shaking. The professor calls me up to the front of the room to give my speech. Slowly but surely, I get up to the front. As I was about to begin my speech, I started to remember the little compliments Alexis was saying to me. And they gave me some confidence that I was going to do just fine. So in my mind I gave myself a little pep talk and began my speech.

After my speech was over I felt this weight lift off my shoulders. I was glad to get that over with. I didn’t even care what grade I got just glad it was done. A week later my professor handed back the grades of our speeches. I looked down and saw that I got an A! He even wrote in the comments that I was very confident in what I was saying. Turns out Alexis did a lot more help than she realized.

Moral of the story: a little confidence can go a long way. Don’t let things that you fear keep you from doing your full potential.  


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