Comfortable but … not comfortable?

Public speaking is quite a thing.

I don’t mind it really. But somehow a war goes on between my body and my mind whenever I have to step up and speak.

Recently I had to give a talk encouraging volunteers to come out and support a program. I was not nervous. I wrote up my speech, practiced it many times beforehand and felt pretty confident I knew what I was going to say. Then when I was up at the podium the shakes came. No, I wasn’t shaking or sweating… it was my voice. I could hear it over the microphone, in the air, I didn’t sound quite as authoritative as I had hoped.

What is it about the conflict that exists between body and mind when it comes to such matters? It’s crazy when your thought process is such that you truly believe every single point: “Afraid of the audience?” Not at all. “Nervous about the subject matter?” Bah, no, hardly.

And yet there’s this tugging and tightening going on in the gut as if its saying, “Yeah yeah, you go on and keep telling yourself that but I know what’s really coming.”

Why does something have to come? Why Gut must you be so foreboding? It’s not rocket science. It’s not a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance or life-changing speech that will impact the world. It’s a brief little moment in time when, frankly, the audience is probably not even listening to you. So what’s the big deal?

I’m not sure how to combat that. I don’t have a problem reading any given text in a colourful way in front of a crowd. I think what it is, is the personal constructs. It’s those times when the speech is personally written. Maybe it’s the gut’s way of being jealous of the mind’s brilliance? “What can I do that comes close to that creativity? I know I’ll sabotage, undermine the mind and make it think there’s something wrong. Ha! That’s what I’ll do.”

Well all I have to say to that is, “On behalf of the mind… just quit it!”