Public Speaking is not my Forte

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Circa 2003 Queen Pageant – I was Miss Congeniality

I would have to say we all have downfalls, and one of mine is public speaking. I freeze up. Now I must admit that being in FFA for 4 years in high school did something to change some of that, but I still froze even then.

My freshman year of high school I joined FFA. One thing that FFA does is work on public speaking through many different forms from making you say the Creed in front of the class to actually joining public speaking contests. I never could do it. Nope, I was shy! I did however in the spring that year join a judging team. I wanted to be on the horse judging but if you go to state with any judging team, you can’t go any other year. They wanted me to be on that team later in my career so they convinced me to judge dairy cattle.

I knew absolutely NOTHING about dairy cattle except that milk comes from them and there were Holsteins. From there I knew nothing. Now, I’m not going to toot my horn or anything but I learned a lot and I was pretty darn good at it. The worst part was taking a test and reasons. Reasons are where you go to a person and tell them why you placed a class of cattle the way you did. I could place classes 45/50 or higher (top points is 50) most of the time but to tell someone… nope… I got 20’s on reasons scores (out of 50 again).

Now I have to laugh here because my senior year I was on the livestock judging team. One of the advisors though found out that I didn’t go to state on the dairy cattle team and they didn’t have enough people to make a team so he convinced me to judge dairy cattle at the district contest that year as well. Um… yeah I smoked them, even the people on the team who had studied all season long. And the best part was, the advisor I had my freshman year (she left our department after my sophomore year) was one of the reasons takers I had to give reasons to. Now I didn’t study for any of this my senior year because I was hit up 1 week before district contest to do this… yeah my old advisor was like, dang, you’ve really improved. ha!

Anyway another example of my not being able to talk in public, my junior year I wanted to be on the horse judging team. 4 people make up a team and there were 5 of us trying for 4 spots. I got into my own head and couldn’t give a set of reasons to save my life and didn’t make the team. I could out place any of them but I always lost it giving my reasons why.

They removed the stress of it and I smoked all of them on reasons scores. My advisor asked me where that Nicole was the whole time.

Yup, I’m not a public speaker.

And I have no idea why I’m typing this particular topic today other than I am. I was thinking about it on my drive to class last night. In classes I tend to be reserved. I’m always afraid of sounding stupid so I don’t like to talk in class. Yet especially now you have to as part of your grade so it’s really pushing me to get out of my comfort zone. I survive and sometimes do sound dumb but I can talk.

Truthfully I don’t like to talk in a group of my friends at times because I get so tongue tied and they love to tease me about it. I laugh it off although always feel dumb! I think the one I get teased about the most is saying

I May have been born last night but it wasn’t at night

instead of…

I may have been born at night but it wasn’t last night.

Woops! But just because I’m not a good public speaker, I do try! A lot. I put myself in situations to overcome my fear every day.

So happy Tuesday, I’m going to go read The Lais of Marie de France now for class. Wish me luck, I have to talk about it tonight in class. ugh!

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