Today’s Daily Prompt is are you comfortable in front of other people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?
However, I will on occasion, step outside my comfort zone and speak in front of a group as long as it’s for something I am passionate about.
I have a son who is on the autism spectrum and soon after his diagnosis I felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of information being thrown at me.
I promised myself that, if given the opportunity, I would “pay it forward” and help other parents going through the diagnosis process.
Soon I began participating in parent panels and support groups for parents of newly diagnosed kids on the autism spectrum. I’ve been doing this for over 4 years and it’s still not easy.
The funny thing is that in my head I think I am an AWESOME public speaker. Someone who can improvise and exchange witty banter with the audience.
A day or so before the panel I’ll jot down some notes but won’t rehearse or practice. It’ll be fine, I tell myself as I toss my notes into my purse and watch some mindless show on TV.
The day of the panel I wake up with a small knot in my stomach but can usually brush it off, or push it out of my head – 4 crazy boys can do that do you.
On the car ride over I start to feel nervous but it’s not until I walk into the room that I’m overcome with panic.
Crap! Why do I do this to myself? I think as I walk into the room and take a seat up front.
Look at all those people staring at me. Ugh, I don’t want to do this anymore, maybe I can sneak out.
Before I can escape, the other speakers start, and I can feel my palms start to sweat as I go over my “speech” in my head – silently cursing myself for not practicing in the car.
As the person ahead of me wraps up, my heart starts to beat faster dreading the time when my name is called. As I am introduced, my face starts to turn a lovely shade of pink as I squeak out my name and start to tell my story.
In the blink of an eye it’s over and I survived!! No one laughed AND some even asked me a question or 2.
All that worry for nothing.
Sure, some days I tell a better story or engage with the parents more but no matter what I can still say that I did it and hope that I helped someone.
Thanks for reading.
Happy Thursday – it’s almost Friday 🙂