Addressing an Issue: To Speak to the Public or Not
I am a very quiet person. I probably don’t seem like it because on the computer I feel free to talk about anything and everything under the sun, but once you stick me in a room filled with people I am not comfortable with, my tongue and mind do not work together very well.
Public speaking has always been one of the few things I am afraid of a great deal. In school, whenever we had a presentation, I clammed up and stressed about it for days. When it was finally my turn, I spoke softly, mumbled a lot, and got tongue tied more than I cared to admit. I never scored well on my presentations because teachers took off marks for not being able to hear me.
I have been asked to present an issue I have with my son’s school to the Parent Teacher Conference coming up. It’s an issue I am very concerned about (the horrors of picking up/dropping off because of some of the parents and their cars) but I am also very worried about presenting it to a bunch of strangers.
Obviously, I want my concern to make an impact in the minds of the other parents, but I honestly do not think I am the best person to talk about it. Yes, I can lay out my issues very well, give proper detail, and bring the topic of concern to attention, but I also know I will get tongue tied and possibly mumble.
I have not accepted or declined the invitation yet; instead, I told them I would like the week to think about it. I told them I am not a strong public speaker, but I realize it might not get addressed unless I say something to the public about it. No other parents have come forward to address the issue either. (A friend of mine is addressing it at her children’s school, which unfortunately is not the same one as mine.)
I really do want to address the issue. I just know I am going to worry about it and stress myself out until it’s finally over. Perhaps if I practice in front of the mirror, my children, and an audience of stuffed animals I may stand a chance.
I’ll sleep on it and think long and hard about it. I have to give my answer Friday morning, so I have some major thinking to do about it.
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