Recently I put my hand up as someone who would be interested in doing some public speaking for the MS Society SA & NT. I’d been considering this for some time, and the moment seemed right, so I let the Society know I was available.
Public speaking, or speaking in public, isn’t something that scares me. I used to be painfully shy, but I got over that many, many years ago. Once I began reading my own poems at Poetry Readings, it all became a simple thing and nothing to be afraid of for me.
I was surprised to learn recently that Public Speaking is listed as the top fear in many lists of such things, including this one: http://www.statisticbrain.com/fear-phobia-statistics/
I certainly have no fear of public speaking. I’m not sure what I’d class as my top fear now. It was certainly snakes at one stage. I had a snake phobia brought on by a close encounter one of my dogs had, that I witnessed. I’ve written about it and would have put a link here, but it seems to have disappeared.
Not to worry, the article was entitled something like Snake Phobia, Face your Fear and do it Anyway. It’s all about me meeting up with a huge but guaranteed friendly python. In the end, the snake was in my arms and I’d stopped shaking. My phobia was over.
Now with the fear of public speaking, I feel it ties in with the fear of appearing stupid, or doing something dumb, that kind of thing. I’ve fallen over in public so many times now, I don’t fear it, apart from the pain that it may cause!
Standing up and talking to people about things I’m passionate about seems like an empowering thing to do, not a scary thing. So, whenever I get the chance now, I’ll stand up and speak, telling other people all about whatever I know about what I am required to talk about.
Obviously, I know about what it’s like to live with multiple sclerosis. I also know a fair bit about dogs, about writing, and I have a good knowledge of getting over bad things that happen in life. I’ve had more than one or two bad things happen in my life. I’m pleased that my inner resilience has helped me to get over them, and to move on to a better life. This is a valuable ability.
The photo on this page is one of me, making a point at my recent book launch. The photo was taken by my favourite photographer, Martin Christmas.