Stage Fright..turns into Confidence

Phew! I feel drained!!! It’s been a pretty (well, a tad more than normal) hectic day at work for me. I was required to do the co-scripting and co-hosting of an impromptu gathering for our department at the workplace and was busy with it almost the entire day. In fact, the groundwork had to be done yesterday itself and that explains the fact of ‘no-post-for-29th-August’. I co-scripted the entire event and then had to get it edited, paraphrased, arranged and then re-arranged until the final draft was readied by today noon. Once the speech part was done, all remained was to go up and deliver it. And then it started…..a slight jittery feeling that steadily grew as the event neared. I’m normally a very confident person (Well, my school teachers actually were of the opinion that I was over confident but thatz quite a long time ago) who never dithers away from a challenge. And though standing in front of a 300-strong audience and conducting a ceremony while equally holding their rapt attention, seems like an easy enough task, believe me…it isn’t!!!

As the event started, I made quite a mess of a few sentences, mucked up a few names and even fidgeted and scratched a lot!!! But thankfully, as the event progressed, the confidence in me started to flow back and midway through, I was my own-self again – calm, collected and above all…Cool The rest of the event passed off relatively hitch-free and I’m sure everyone heard my sigh of relief when it ended! Whilst it was an endearing experience, it taught me one thing – when one has confidence in one-self, obstacles are easily surmounted. I could have easily lost it and blabbered away into buffoonery and timidness but I managed to hold moi nerve and motivate myself to do good, no matter how hard it may be. And while the event wasn’t of a bigger magnanimity – as, say, the CAT exam or a Job Interview – it played a part in making me realize that confidence is the key….and self-confidence is the master key!!!

P.S: I should also thank my co-host. She was slightly more nervous than me and that helped…I dunno how 😐

One thought on “Stage Fright..turns into Confidence

  1. Here’s a personal story you might find interesting…

    Some years ago, I was asked to be master of ceremonies at a dinner in which legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry was to give the keynote address. It was a fairly small gathering of about 300 people at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.

    Landry is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he played and coached in some of the biggest games in the history of the NFL. Not only that, but as a 20-year-old bomber pilot during World War II, but he flew missions over Germany. He had been shot at. Now that can scare you!

    As he delivered his speech, I was privileged to sit directly next to the podium.

    What I saw really surprised me.

    Tom Landry was speaking to an audience that admired and probably even idolized him. There was no reason to be nervous in the least. In their eyes, he could do no wrong.

    Yet, from my seat less than three feet away, I could see Tom Landry palms sweating and his hands trembling as he read from a stack of index cards containing his notes. He was literally shaking.

    Like millions of other people, it seems Tom Landry was not immune to stage fright, or halophobia.

    After the dinner ended, I got up some courage and approached him. “Coach,” I said, “would you mind if I asked you a question about your speech?”

    “That’s fine,” he replied.

    “Do you get nervous when you have to make a speech.”

    Landry smiled. “Almost every time,” he replied

    “How do you overcome it” I asked.

    His response was memorable.

    “I remind myself of what I often told my players,” he said. “Walk through your fear with faith. And you never let the fear of failure become the cause of failure.”

    That’s certainly great advice from a great man for anyone who has to deal with a fear of public speaking.

    And by the way, next time you get a little nervous because you have to make a speech, remind yourself that if someone like Tom Landry can get stage fright, or halophobia, the rest of us certainly shouldn’t be ashamed if we do too.

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