Are You Terrified of Speech Class?

Welcome to Speech Class.

Speech class.

Are those the two scariest words you’ve heard this week?Are You Terrified of speech class fb.jpg

A factoid that’s been floating around the Internet claims that people fear public speaking more than death.  Technically, no one’s ever done that research.  A writer made that up for an article.

But it can feel like you’re going to die when you think about stepping up on to a stage where everyone is going to be looking at you and judging everything that comes out of your mouth.

Let’s break that down a bit.

Going to Die

You’re not going to die.  I promise.  I know CPR and how to call 911.  I will keep you alive until the emergency squad gets here.

Seriously… all those crazy things your body does when you think about getting up and giving a speech are natural and to a great extent, predetermined.  You’ve been designed to deal with stress in one of three ways:

  1. Fight  The instinct to protect yourself is strong, almost undefeatable.  For those who have the tendency toward fight, stress will come out in seemingly violent ways.
  2. Flight  The inclination to run away is normal.  Stress comes when the body feels like it’s at risk and it’s programmed to get outta there when the stress gets too overwhelming.
  3. Stink.  Our bodies will do… odiferous things to discourage the source of the pressure from putting any more stress on us.  We sweat.  We get an upset stomach that wants to vomit, emit gas, or otherwise produce stinky stuff.

Once you understand what your normal reaction to stress is, then we can deal with it.  You can learn to use that stress to become a better speaker.

Stepping on the Stage

At some point, you will be speaking to a group of people when you’re in the speech class.  If you don’t get up to give a speech, then you’ll never learn the number one truth about public speaking.  (I can’t tell you that yet, but you’ll find out.)

Everyone’s Looking at You

Yes, they will be looking at you.  If you know that from the start, it will help you understand the importance of how you present yourself.  How you look.  How you’ve prepared.

In the speech class, we will get you prepared for presentations, including how you look.

Judging Everything that Comes Out of Your Mouth

This is the most important thing I have to teach you today – before we even start our first speech class.

We are not judging you. 

The time you spend in this speech class is the place where you are permitted to try new things.  Try hard things.  Fall down.  Fail to accomplish what you want.

We all are here to improve.  Everyone is going to make mistakes.  Do something spectacularly wrong.  Have a speech go wrong in five different ways.

Yes, you’ll get a grade.  But if you go up there and give it everything you’ve got, you will not fail.

I promise.  I’m the teacher, so I can do that.

What If… I’m Not Afraid?

Ok, good.

But don’t be surprised if you do get nervous.  No one can predict what they’re going to do or how they’re going to react under pressure for the first time or the tenth time.  Stay cool and learn from it.

Extra credit




Tell me about a fear you had as a child and how you overcame it.  Or tell me about a time that something scary happened to you and how that has an impact on you now.  (Minimum 100 words.)


  1. I had a fear of going on a ski lift, because i thought i might fall. This fear stopped me from going on some of my favorite rides. i overcame this fear when I started getting bored of going on the same hills so then my brother and our friend came over to me and asked why I wasn’t going on most of the ski slopes. then i told them why i wasn’t going on most of the ski slopes and they started begging me to go on a different one then i finally said i would go with them when i finally went on it i realized it wasn’t so bad and now some of those ski slopes are my favorite

  2. This summer I was very nervous about going to science camp in columbus for a week. When I got down to columbus I met my room-mate and she was very nice. She was also nervous about being away for a week. She had just gotten back from Turkey, visiting her dad, and Italy, traveling with her choir. I had just gotten back from France, visiting my sister. We talked about where we had traveled and what we were going to do for the rest of the summer. After that we got to meet the rest of the girls at camp and they were very welcoming. We all had a great time together and the week flew by.

    • Caroline, you tell a good story – I think you’re going to do great in speech class. 10 points.

  3. When I was younger I used to hate water slides and I would never go on any but the little kitty slides. After a while I got tired of seeing all of these little kids in front of me. On Friday we went to Uhrichsville Water Park. My brothers where begging me and trying to bribe me to do it. So, finally with a sigh I went down once with my brother Aidan and I think that slide was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my life and I went down the slide about four more times!

  4. One summer a couple of years ago, my family and I went to Akron Fossil. Akron Fossil is a museum of fossils with some fun activities as well. One of them is a zip line that seemed to me extremely high up in the air. I thought it would be fun to do the zip line, so I got a ticket and climbed up the tower where the zip line starts. As soon as I got my harness on and was about to be sent off, I said I didn’t want to do it because I was too scared. Looking back on this experience, I entirely regret my decision. Although, it has helped me to get over my fears of doing other fun things because I remember how much I regret that decision. Even though I wish I had done it, I don’t see it as a bad thing because it was a good learning experience for me.

    • Megan, I’m TERRIFIED of heights. I can’t even imagine thinking about going on a zip line. I’m glad to hear you’ve learned from that experience. Thanks for sharing your story – 10 points!

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