Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Shivers and Silence

(thanks to for image)

It’s a natural feeling to be nervous before a class presentation…I think. Maybe not when you’re about to wet your pants because you’ve downed two bottles of water in 5 minutes, or when you’re shivering like you’ve just been thrown into a below-0 degree freezer. I can recall my 4th grade experience with that…well, not the water part, but I was certainly shivering. That presentation I had to make in 4th grade was my first ever class project presentation in my entire life. You bet I was nervous. Don’t worry, it turned out okay. I could have been louder (as the usual), but I was only 9 years old, com’on.

It wasn’t until 5th grade that I had a wider experience with standing up and talking. My 5th grade teacher gave us projects almost every other week…and if you’ve guessed it, yes, we had to present each and every one of those projects. Sometimes it would be a surprise too. Then I’d have to make up a presentation right on the spot.

But the worst came when I had to present my Tanzania project with my partner. That was the worst anxiety attack I have ever had before a presentation. I did both those things I mentioned in the first paragraph…I was drinking water like crazy, and I was shivering all at the same time. When we finally got up there, we only had a maximum of 10 minutes to present. I took up 7 minutes of that time, leaving my partner with only 3 minutes. But oh well, it was good enough, in my opinion.

The only greatest time I ever had with a presentation was with another partner, in 8th grade. It was a PowerPoint presentation, so we had our script right then and there. I feel lucky to have had such a great partner. She was always loud and energetic, so it made me feel more comfortable in the process. When I was speaking, I didn’t really have a problem at all. I was reading the PowerPoint, but at the same time, I was also “teaching” the class too. Looking back, I can’t believe I was able to do that. My partner did the same, and as a result, we got high praises from our teacher. Hey, I like to be a bit conceited now and then.

Public speaking is a pretty tough thing for some people (me included). Just the thought of having to go outside and say something is hard. I’m still going through the process of finding my own voice, myself. For all those other clams out there, you’re not alone. I’m still working on it, and I guess I’m having some progress. I’d have to thank my friends for that, especially those S&D’ers ;). I think I’d throw a party the day I’m able to say “Screw getting nervous and being shy…life is loud and proud!”

-the clam.

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