Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Feel Pukey

Next week I'm giving a conference presentation in Chicago to an audience of 50+ random strangers. I'm cool with that. Today I have to give my mock presentation to my co-workers. A whole eight people. I'm terrified. I think I have reverse public speaking anxiety. I do really well in front of people I've never met, but stick me up in front of people I interact with day in and day out and I feel like I'm going to puke.

I know there's no rational reason to feel this way. This should be the warm-up audience, the one that I use to practice on and work the kinks out of my speech. But no, I was up late last night worrying about it and I'm continuing to worry about it while I sit here reviewing my notes. Ew.

It's been like this as far back as I can remember. Every book report we had to present in class, every time it was my turn in the spelling bee, even playing Around the World during math time. Once it was almost my turn I would start to feel sick, my hands would shake, and I would get all clammy. That's going as far back as 3rd grade, so about 20 years. It still hasn't gotten any easier. Even when I teach I get nervous, even after 10 weeks of teaching the same undergrads the same information. My knees still shake up there behind the podium and I feel like I'm just waiting for the moment that I'll be exposed as a fraud - say the wrong thing, look like an idiot.

I wish I could be like this guy. Faceless, nameless, unconnected to anyone in the audience.

Can't wait for the conference! And I actually mean that.


  1. I'm so like that. Put me up in front of hundreds of people and I'm the most confident public speaker.

    But, one on one, I totally suck and get nervous.

  2. Oh, I get it totally. Back when I performed, I could play in front of thousands of people no problem. But I couldn't practice at home if anyone else was around. Made me soooo nervous.

    Good luck! I know you'll do great!

  3. At least you can get up in front up people you don't know! I get in a room with more than 3-people and I want to be a wallflower! I can't understand that.

    Plus - these are the people you work with day and day out and I'm sure you feel like they are going to be judging you. Just remember they probably wish that they were as cool, smart, and bright as you. You'll do fine!



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