I Don't Want to Be Nervous Anymore, I Want to Be Confident! by Lindsey

Lindsey's entry into Varsity Tutor's November 2021 scholarship contest

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I Don't Want to Be Nervous Anymore, I Want to Be Confident! by Lindsey - November 2021 Scholarship Essay

As I approach the stage, my palms are sweaty and my mind is blank. All the lines I rehearsed suddenly fly right out of my mind as I stare into the crowd with dozens of pairs of eyes staring back at me. I am in what they call stage fright. The auditorium is silent as they await the speech I plan to deliver to them. Little do they know I am facing an existential crisis and debating on running off the stage and never showing my face out there again. Sadly, that is not a possibility. Too many hours of preparations have gone into this speech. I know all there is to know about the gender gap in the STEM field; I just don’t know how to deliver it in a way that will leave me feeling proud and accomplished. Time is ticking and I have to start or else it will seem suspicious. And so it begins, a few run-on sentences later, a change in accent, and the occasional word stutter, and the speech is over. The good news is that I got my point across. The bad news is that I didn’t do it in a way that made me happy.
I have always struggled with giving speeches. I’m not sure if it’s the eyes that stare back at me or if it’s the anxiety that overcomes me that puts me in a trance. I was never taught the proper way to deliver a speech. It was just something that was expected that we all knew how to do. The reality is many people like me face the issue of not knowing how to deliver a speech.
My high school peer had the opportunity to move on to college and take a course on public speaking. She has told me that this was not only her favorite class but her most practical and helpful class. By taking this course she has felt a sense of confidence when delivering speeches and speaking out in her other courses.
Public speaking is a class that deserves more emphasis in school as many people like me are missing the skills that allow them to be more confident in what they are saying. This will not only help students become more critical thinkers but also overcome public speaking anxiety.