Thursday, May 26, 2011

Battling Nerves

On Tuesday, I, along with other ILC students from Hercules gathered at the Hercules City Council meeting. 
While I waited to make my speech, I asked each fellow ILC student what to talk about. I was relieved to learn that my speech had similar content to my peers. However, whatever sense of relief evaporated as the time for me to make my speech drew nearer and nearer. As Mr. Ramsey, Mrs. Ishmael, and the Cornell Hotelies gave their speeches, my nerves reached a peak.

Following the final Hotelie speech, Mr. Ramsey nudged me towards the podium and I took a deep breath and told myself I can do it. The beginning of the speech went well, but as I talked, I totally forgot everything I had prepared. As my nerves began to mount once again, I reminded myself to slow down, and low and behold I remembered some of my speech. Towards the end of my speech I decided to speak spontaneously, and finish strong.

After I concluded my speech, I felt like I had just cleared a hurdle, and conquered a task which I am not comfortable with. The irony is that I think that the ending of my speech, the part where I spoke spontaneously, was more beneficial than the parts that I prepared. The City Council meeting has made me feel more confident with public speaking, a key life skill.

I also appreciated listening to the eloquent speeches given by fellow ILC students because I got a front row seat to the best speakers at my school: Hercules High. I got to pick up on what each person did well in, which I hope to use to improve my public speaking.

1 comment:

  1. Eric,

    I’m confused—exactly which City Council meeting did you attend where you came across as nervous? The one I attended where I saw and heard you speak to the crowd I noticed no nervousness. I thought you did a great job. If you hade any problems with your nerves you kept it well hidden.

    I think you’ll find that just talking to people comes across a lot more natural sounding than if you were to read from a prepared speech. With a lot of people this works.