STAGE FRIGHT, by Seo Jin
“If I ever have to speak in front of many people again, I will never be nervous, thanks to this experience.”
Hello, everyone. My name is Seo Jin. I major in Chinese and Chinese Literature. I’m going to talk about my challenge, stage fright. Every time I had to give a speech in front of many people, I worried about it too much. Once I started my speech, I froze up and completely forgot what I was going to talk about. I couldn’t speak clearly and my hands shook because I felt so nervous. As my nervousness grew, my speech got worse and worse. Finally, I finished my speech almost crying. After it was over, I always regretted that I didn’t feel more comfortable or have more confidence. I thought it was a big problem, not only at that time, but also for my whole life. That’s why I decided to overcome my challenge, and I started to practice speaking in front of people.
What did I do to overcome my fear of public speaking? First, I started talking with my dolls and the wall. I regarded my dolls as an audience and I talked in front of them. I even talked with the fish in the aquarium. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I really did that. Secondly, I tried to answer the teacher’s questions as much as I could during class. That gave me more confidence.
Now, it’s so much better than before. I can speak in front of people without my hands shaking and I don’t feel nearly as nervous as before. I can’t say that I’ve completely overcome my fear of public speaking, because I still feel nervous sometimes, but I’m on my way. I believe that one day I will be able to speak easily in front of thousands of people.
Teacher’s Comments: The LIFE STORY PROJECT was first conceived during a writing assignment by students at Kookmin University in Seoul, Korea.The stories were eventually given as short 2-3 minute speeches in front of the class.
In my job as a teacher of English conversation at Kookmin University, I was constantly faced with students who were in the process of job interviews and resumes and the daunting task of selling themselves in a very competitive job market. I realized that many of them didn’t really know themselves well, and that finding their stories as Nelson Bolles suggested in his bestselling job-hunting book, “What Color is Your Parachute?” would help them discover their strengths and interests.
The assignment I gave them was to write a story from their life about a time that they 1) wanted to do something, 2) faced an obstacle, and 3) overcame it. In the process, they were reminded of interests and strengths that they have, and the rest of us were inspired to hear their accomplishments. The LIFE STORY PROJECT was born! To submit a story, please keep it brief, include your name, age, and where the story happened, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you! Robin