Speak Up

Traci - Healdsburg, California
Entered on September 4, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Speaking is the most common fear. Having to stand up in front of peers and share your opinions, sends fear trickling down the spines of most. People would rather sit back, relax, and keep their opinions to them self. But speaking up is the most important thing a person can do. Why sit back and hold everything inside when you’re surrounded by people who are willing to listen?

Public speaking, discussions in class, essay reading; it’s all the same. Being asked to stand up and open your self up to everyone around, share your feelings and don’t worry about what everyone else is thinking. We all worry about what others are thinking. We assume that they see the worst; we create our own fear for public speaking. Public speaking is the most important thing a person can learn. It turns fear into strength, self criticism into confidence, and thoughts into words. Students walk into a class with smiles plastered on their faces, energized from lunch, and excited for the rest of the day; then they hear their teacher utter the words, class discussion. Smiles fade from most faces. Heads seem to disappear and suddenly the thriving room is dead silent. Speak up.

I have been scared to death of speaking in a classroom my entire life, and I still am. I am nervous all day when I know that I am going to have to give a speech. The idea of standing up in front of my classmates and having to share my own thoughts scares me to death. However; every time I have to give a speech, I try and volunteer to go first, and once I’m up there, and anxiety I had disappears. Being able to stand up and speak you mind for those few minutes can be exhilarating. I don’t care what others think for those few seconds, because I am speaking up. I have learned over the years that I must be confident in what I have to say instead of worrying about whether or not my words are good enough. “There is only one thing more frightening then speaking, and that is not speaking.” If people just let ideas come and go without ever speaking up, then they are only hurting themselves.

The fear of public speaking will never truly disappear. No matter how hard we try we will always have a fear of what others think, but who cares, at least you’re speaking up. Whenever I’m in my classes I already know who will be doing the talking. There are those students who say exactly what they want without thinking twice, good for them. I wish I could be that way. I wish that I could take part in discussions without repeating my answer over in my head before saying it out loud; I wish that I could be comfortable and confident with what I have to say. This courage comes from speaking up. We all need to realize that everyone fears public speaking and the only way that this will go away is from speaking up. Speak up more, and one day, that fear will disappear and you’ll laugh at yourself for ever caring