Someone asked me why I wasn’t a stand up comedian one day and I never really thought about it until then why I wasn’t one.
Because I guess I want a real job when I graduate.
“But you’re so hilarious and funny and have all these great stories on you’re blog and you tell them so well!”
No…. I can tell them to you and all my other friends; the people I’m comfortable with. I write the blog because I don’t like standing in front of people.
Which brings me to my story of COMM 203: Public Speaking.
As part of my major, I have to take public speaking which makes no sense because I want to go into nursing school which is a one-on-one job, not a stand in front of a huge crowd of people job. It is required and I suck it up and take it.
We meet in this huge lecture hall then break into smaller groups. This is where we gave our speeches. Maybe 20 people in the room, should be fine to give a speech, right? Wrong.
It was in that room that I have glossophobia (the fear of public speaking) and an anxiety issue. Most of the people in the room were COMM majors and did have a natural gift for speaking to the public. I did not. I was nervous the entire class time, even the times I wasn’t giving a speech. I almost had a nervous breakdown once because a girl was struggling through her speech!
But this isn’t about my fear of speaking to the public, it’s a funny story about why I’m not a standup comedian.
One day I have to give a speech that was a big percentage of our grade in the course. No pressure. Just a lot riding on this. So I’m the last person to go and I’m just getting more and more nervous as each person goes up there. Time ticks away. Closer and closer it gets to Judgement Day. My palms are sweaty. My throat is dry. My stomach is in knots. How will I ever make it through this?!
As the person before me is giving there speech, I get this sick feeling all over me. I can’t focus. I’m trying to listen to this person speak but everything is muffled and I keep thinking I’m going to puke. I’m going to puke all over these people. There will be a drowning death caused by the large amount of puke that’s going to come out of me.
I go to give my speech and I feel all the adrenaline running through all my veins and I feel all these emotions coming on and then it happened…
The person in the front row puked all over the podium and floor right in front of me! Some of it even got on my shoe. Apparently, the person was up the night before with a stomach virus, but knew they needed to come to class because they would get an absence counted toward them. That’s committed and stupid all in one.
Anyway, we had someone come in and clean up the mess and I gave my speech from the other side of the room. I opened with “Tough act to follow,” and got a laugh from the room. It calmed me down a lot. I felt a comforting wave come over me. I wasn’t afraid anymore. I gave a great speech and had a good rest of the semester.
I’m still not going to become a comedian though. But I thought you got over your fear? I did overcome my fear. Now I’m not as afraid of standing in a crowded room and giving a speech, but I have an irrational fear that a person is going to come up and puke on me while I’m talking.