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Imagine you are standing before a crowd. You’re totally prepared to talk but now that you’re up there, staring at the audience, all of a sudden you feel like you can’t breathe.
As a member of the Gay Straight Alliance, our group went from class to class sharing our stories and increasing people’s awareness of LGBT issues. But the first time I got in front of a class I froze.
I’d practiced what I was going to say what felt like a million times, but once I was up there, I was so worried about saying the wrong thing that I got scared. Everyone staring at you expectantly is daunting, especially when you’re sharing something incredibly personal, like a coming out story.
But I introduced myself anyway. In fact, I made the class laugh. That’s when I realized I just needed to keep the audience, and more importantly myself, cackling.
Public speaking isn’t something that scares me anymore. As long as I can find some way to inject a little humor into whatever I’m saying, I can keep laughing through my fear.