For years, I alway said math was the bane of my academic existence. I’m horrible at it. I think I can handle things up until Algebra II (and I use the term ‘handle’ loosely), but anything after that makes me want to cry. Or scream. Scream and cry? That about covers it.
Well, I have a new academic bane: public speaking.
I absolutely hate public speaking. I’m not a public speaker by any means. Hell, I can barely hold a decent conversation without sounding like an idiot half the time. I’m horribly, painfully shy (seriously, I don’t care who says otherwise, I am) so, put me up in front of even the smallest group of people and I choke.
I learned this the hard way through 3 years of Toastmasters in Middle School. Worst. Three. Years. Of. My. Life. After awhile, it was kind of OK, because it was the same 40 kids through all three years (it was a very small school) and I knew most all of them.
Class presentations in high school? Shoot me.
And now, I have to pitch ideas in screenwriting and read stuff in front of the class.
The first reading assignment I did was pretty horrible. I had to read a 4-page screenplay assignment. I talked really fast and stuttered a bit. But, I was reading, so I didn’t have to look at anyone.
Same for the second assignment, although part of that was embarrassing as hell cos I had to read a part of someone else’s screenplay and…let’s just say if she can’t hack it as a screenwriter she definitely has a future in harlequin romances or smutty stories. I’m pretty sure my cheeks were bright red during that presentation.
And then, today. Oh boy. The Pitch.
We had to give a pitch for a remake of a movie (mine was Sunset Boulevard). I actually had a really good idea for this. Everything was planned out, I had a decent opening, I hit all the major points we had to and, best of all, I wouldn’t go over time.
I was cool. I was calm. I was collected.
And then I choked.
In front of the class, the TA, and the professor (who, of course, had to show up just in time for my presentation).
So, my mind completely blanked and I’d forgotten everything I’d written so, instead of this wonderfully eloquent pitch that would have sold my story without fail, this happened:
It was horrible. No one could understand a word I was saying. I was shaking the whole time! And, I have to give another pitch after Spring Break.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me. If anyone out there has tips on public speaking, I’d appreciate a few.