Public Speaking ~ Should I Stay, or Should I Go

Have you ever had the privilege to speak in front of a group?  I have.  My most recent time was just last week.  I think I did great!  Well, except for the nervousness that set in about thirty minutes before the multiple speakers were to begin.  Then it was like “What was I thinking consenting to this!!!”  Lol!

Opportunity Strikes

I am a part of a Christian ladies group that meets for fellowship and a lesson each w

eek.  Our lesson each week is brought by a random speaker invited by our fearless leader.  To switch things up a bit, a couple of weeks ago our leader asked a group of us if we’d like to share a scripture/testimony/revelation the following week.  We would have about five to six minutes each to speak.  I thought “What the heck”, and jumped in.

Immediately, my blog post about hope came to mind.  That would be  a perfect topic.  I think would be useful and reassuring for our group members.  Plus, bonus!  I had already written it and collected all my references.  Also, I had confidence and peace on the subject.  Yes!

Although I felt prepared, I still prayed and remained open to a different topics to speak on.  God was silent.  So, I felt I was good to go!  Whoop!  Whoop!  This speaking stuff is SO easy!  I usually get nervous.  But, nope!  Nada.  I am one chillin’ chick.  I’ve got this.

With a couple of days to go, and no topic change in site, I settled in and prepared to speak on hope.  I pulled up my hope blog post and printed off the key portions of it.  Then I edited it some more for a handy reference handout for the meeting.  With everything confirmed with my leader, I’m good to go the night before.  I print off my handouts and head to bed.  I am indeed blessed and highly favored.  Thank you Lord.

This Is The Day

Yep!  This is the day!  Well, unfortunately, I severely overslept.  Dang it!  No biggie though as I still make it where I need to be that morning.  Except, on my way, Jehovah Sneaky jumped in and flipped my script.  Another topic to speak on has just entered my mind…and won’t let go.   Although….maybe it’s just my mind playing tricks on me.  Right?  Please?!?  (Yep. I’m still a hope fanatic to the core.)My morning finished out, I returned home. 

On the drive back I counseled Mr. Jehovah Sneaky.  (Side note: I don’t recommend counseling the Lord.  It’s a total waste of time.  Well, except that it allows you to get some stuff off your chest.  And you might eventually get willingly aligned with God in the end.)  Anyway, I still wasn’t sure if I indeed needed to switch things up on my plans for speaking or not.  Oh, the indecision!

It took all afternoon, and an unavoidable nap, but it became quite clear that my topic had changed.  Fine.  As usual, God is going to get His way.  (I’d say “always”, but please.  I’m most definitely a faulty human.  Lol!)  So, I’m gaining peace and confidence in speaking on my new topic.  Okay, then. Let’s do this!

Game Time

I arrived early, which rarely happens, but I wanted to come in relaxed and ready to go.  All is good.  No worries of my nerves getting a jump on me.  Whew!  I visited with everyone, helped with some setup, and generally enjoyed myself.  Yay!

As time got closer, the speakers discussed the order in which we’d be speaking.  I agreed to go second.  Thank you Lord this was going so smoothly!  THEN I realized I didn’t have any notes or outline in case I lost track of where I was going in my story-line.  Well, heck!

Although even that wasn’t a biggie.  I grabbed my spiral and jotted down the highlights and looked up the related scriptures I wanted to share.  Done.  Good to go! But….  Not.  My nerves are fully jumped up now.   Gahhhhh…..

Almost time to go!  And….. Wait.  I easily swapped spots with speaker number three.  More time would hopefully help.  Right???  Well, I was definitely clinging to my “hope fanatic” status at this point.

Announcements.  I can do this….  Music time!  This isn’t so bad.  Speaker number one.  I’m good; I’m not shaking that bad.  Speaker number two.  Oh, heck!  I’m gonna have to do this while nervous as all get out!  Ummm….  (Is it too late to slip out and disappear?  Please???  Hopefully, she speaks a looong time…..  Nope.  Three minutes.  THREE minutes and she’s done?  What?!?  Lol!  (Yeah, I actually said that out loud.  Oops!  Lol)   Wait.  Jehovah Sneaky, I wanna renegotiate!!!  Lol!  (Yep.  Nervous laughter is now trying to creep in.  Oh, geez…)

Me Time

So, I did it.  Nerves screaming.  I spoke on my hardly prepped new topic.  My voice felt shaky, but my legs never felt weak.  I talked.  I made eye contact.  Heck, I even relaxed enough to notice how closely I held their attention.

Eventually, my mind hit a blank. As I glanced at my notes, I realized I’d lost track of the time.  Had I gone over?  Well, just to be safe I nipped it off right there.  A quick wrap up and I was handing off the microphone.  And…..I spoke for only three minutes.  Really?  REALLY?!?  Yep, speaker number two dutifully razzed me like I had done her.  It’s all good.  But…. Three minutes!  That is wayyyy longer than you think it is!  Seriously!  Lol

Ultimately, it wasn’t that bad.  Yet, that nerve-wracking episode was definitely something I’d like to avoid ever, ever again.  Though I’ve been there before and probably will again.  I’ve had a panic attack before, and this was nowhere near that experience.  And, thankfully, I’m not prone to anxiety or bouts of panic.  But, I definitely battle stage fright from time to time.  That’s my best guess for this go around.

I also know that if I run or avoid every stressful situation then that situation gains the power and I slowly get weaker with each defeat.  So, should I Stay, or Should I Go?  Well?  It comes down to choices and choosing wisely each and every time.  For me, if at all possible, I will choose to stay and fight that thing which hopes to stop me from moving forward.  What about you? Please, share your similar experience in the comments below.

As always, thanks for stopping by. Talk to you soon!

Like this post? Be sure to check out my other posts. Plus, you can also subscribe to get notified of my future posts. To subscribe, fill out the Subscribe form on the right side of this page, or the Subscribe form at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.