A Fear Faced and Defeated

December 13th, 2015 | Uncategorized

Fluttering heart sending vibrations through my whole body, voice breaking and tripping over each syllable, the odd tear welling up in my eye and threatening to betray me – here lie the signs that I am giving a presentation in front of a group of people. Be it an audience of four or 40, when I stand up before a group of listening ears, I wish I were anywhere else. For those who don’t suffer from this unease, such reactions undoubtedly seem like, well, overreactions. But I know that the majority of people understand how I feel, maybe not to such a dramatic degree, but they understand nonetheless.  I’ve actually read that in polls measuring the frequency of common phobias, public speaking pretty consistently comes in first – with a recent report claiming that over ¼ of Americans list speaking in front of a crowd as one of their fears.

But something was different about this Monday past. There I stood, presenting in front of my Finance class, not manifesting any of these symptoms.  I was speaking about a project I had just completed. The task was to convince the class and lecturer, imagining them as investors, to invest in the company that I had researched. And man, had I researched. My report had ended up being more than 10 pages long, and I had spent hours upon hours writing it the weekend before. In fact, the hours leading up to the presentation were also filled with concentration on the material at hand as I prepared the PowerPoint presentation. 

None of my prep time was spent worrying about the actual act of presenting. And I was lucky enough to present right at the beginning of class; watching other people present is usually a perfect time for my nerves to escalate to extreme levels.

I almost felt surprised when I found myself in what is normally such a stressful situation, feeling so comfortable. And I actually managed to last the full five minutes without any of the heart-palpating nonsense I would have expected to befall me. This experience has showed me that preparation, comfortability with the material, and avoiding that anxious kind of worrying are the keys to my public speaking success!


Victory Scholar: Lillian McCabe

Present University: IT Carlow

US League: Atlantic 10

Club/Community Partner: ITC Basketball

Alma Mater: Davidson College

Sponsored by: Teamwear Ireland


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