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Akers: It’s time to embrace your fear of public speaking

Kane Reinholdstein // Unsplash

Public speaking is something that most people, especially college students, dread.

We’ve all been there. The anticipation of standing in front of a group of people feels like it’s too much to bear. Your heart begins to race. The palms of your hands begin to sweat and shake with fear. Internal panic sets in. You would think you were about to go skydiving with the amount of adrenaline and anxiety that takes over your whole body. But what’s scarier than jumping out of a moving airplane?
Public speaking is something that most people, especially college students, dread. Presentations, group discussions and even simply asking a question in front of the class is enough to bring on a lot of anxiety for many. Not to mention, from an early age most of us have had it drilled into our brains that we’ll have no choice but to partake in the awful and terrifying public speaking class once we enter college. Well, it turns out what we’ve been told is true, but what if we stop seeing public speaking as something we should be afraid or embarrassed of and start to seeing it as a useful tool that you might even enjoy.
A lot of the fear that comes from speaking in front of an audience is due to being unprepared and unable to manage anxiety. This is where public speaking classes can be extremely helpful. It’s an opportunity to learn and practice alongside others that feel the same way that you do. You’ll get immediate feedback on your speaking and learn coping skills to combat your anxiety. Most likely, you’ll discover a newfound confidence with speaking in public once you’ve had some guidance. It’s difficult to be good at something we’ve been told to fear almost our entire lives and not build upon.
Public speaking is a way to share your knowledge, give yourself a voice and connect with others. Without it there would be many gaps in communication which would be detrimental for learning and education. There are some ideas and emotions that just cannot be portrayed and understood the same way in writing. Public speaking uses a combination of dynamics, body language and interaction to make an impact. So, sign up for that public speaking class next semester with confidence and embrace it.
Madison Akers is a junior Communication major from Easley, South Carolina. She enjoys writing as well as playing piano.

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Madison Akers
Madison Akers, Asst. Opinion Editor
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