In my senior year, I contracted this disease where I would know what I was going to say, feel confident, and then a hole would suddenly appear, and everything inside my brain would fall out. It was a newly formed disease that didn’t really show up before, despite the various times I had to publicly speak, despite how nervous I was. There was one moment where I had everything straight in my mind, and I blanked, I blanked so much that I couldn’t make up things to make it seem like I didn’t blank. I was rather disappointed and confused how I suddenly lost the ability to retain words and say them out loud without stumbling. Because of this little “disease”, my confidence in public speaking waned. This lack of confidence that I had before was still there, and carried through into this assignment. I was surprised that when I forgot what I wanted to say, I could pick myself up with cohesion (although I know it was choppy and stutter-y at times). I was surprised that I could make people laugh that much, and I was surprised that my body didn’t look too too awkward up there. I am not thoroughly impressed with how I portrayed my speaking skills, but I am impressed by how I managed to sort of make it seem like I was comfortable up there, like I had before. I wasn’t necessarily faking it, because I had jolts of excitement, jolts of confidence. My new take away from watching myself is that I have to have this jolt for the whole entire speech.
I definitely have much room to improve. Those moments where I kind of meshed words together, the moments where I stuttered, where I had to correct myself mid-sentence, OH I CRINGE. It’s embarrassing. I need to know how to pace myself that I don’t have to say um, because after watching the video, I realized how much I do that when I am mid-thought, trying to piece together what I want to say. I need to get rid of those moments where I looked like I was trying to grab onto words to get my point across. Also there was this point that was really good and I had it ready, and the I said it part way, and then forgot a part, which might have made my point lack some sense (it was the part about making opinions about me and my SAT score…I forgot to say that the education system generates a natural response to judge my INTELLIGENCE. I forgot the key word intelligence).
Overall, it was a good experience. I mean, every uncomfortable experience is most likely a good one, when at least your health and sanity is not in danger. My sanity was, thank the lord, pretty intact during the assignment…surprisingly. I have never really gotten the chance to watch myself through a recording, so I get to see if I have any weird quirks that distract from my presence…could probably loosen up on my hand gestures a bit…these quirks are some of the things we don’t notice that would be a good idea to fix. It’s a step to rebuilding my public speaking confidence ever since I got this “disease”, so I can only thank this TED talk. I would love to do something like this again, maybe I’ll even write something for the actual TED just for kicks! It opens new doors and closes the bad doors I’ve opened.