So I realized over the weekend just how hard it is for me to do public speaking, even if it is just among a large group of friends. Now don't get me wrong, I do not get nervous in social situations. Actually I can be quite the social butterfly, but that is because I am usually only talking to one or two people at any one time. When a group gets larger than what I can fit in a car, I start to get nervous. There is just something uncomfortable about all those eyes looking at me, I feel as if I will make a fool out of myself, stumbling over my words, or that I have something on by face of a booger hanging out of my nose. I feel as if they are judging me.
I'm not exactly sure when this fear of public speaking kicked in, in high school English class I could read Edgar Allen Poe with no issue. Then in college... Well we won't go into that. So now, as an author, I am occasionally asked to do a reading and it takes all my willpower not to break down in tears or hide under a table. My heart starts to beat so hard I am afraid it will beat right out of my chest, my hands shake and I have to fight to hold my breath. This is no easy task when speaking.
I know as I sell more books I will eventually be asked to do things with larger groups, I just hope I can get over whatever this is by then. I have tried different ways of getting past the fear that have been suggested to me, and it seems like every time I do it just gets worse. Perhaps after I finish the Buddhist class I am taking through Coursera I will be able to calm myself and do it. If not, I wonder if they would let me wear a mask or blindfold. hehe