Overcoming a fear?

Overcoming a fear?

So work has been interesting recently.  It seems that not only are we going to be expanding our office, but we’re going to be bringing in an entirely new department as well.

And guess who gets to train them all?

Me.

Now, that’s not really a big deal in and of itself.  I’ve been with the company for 5 years and I understand my position as well as the workings of the company very well.  I have the knowledge required to do everything they’re asking of me, and I was excited at first, but then my manager told me that I was expected to do it classroom style: with me speaking to groups of 20-30 people at a time.

And then I could feel the anxiety overtake me.

Ever since high school I have hated public speaking.  I used to dread the days in speech class when we had to give our speeches.  It doesn’t matter how well I know what I am talking about; when I get up there, I seem to forget everything I am supposed to know.  I remember the first day in class and we had to give an impromptu speech about ourselves.  That’s something I should know, right?  I mean, everyone knows about themselves.  So I get up there and start talking and what’s the first thing that happens?  I forgot the name of my elementary school.  I went there for 6 years, kindergarten through 5th grade, and I couldn’t remember the name of it.  That basically set the stage for all my future public speaking sessions.  Even when I would study up on my topic, I’d still  freeze up.  When we were allowed to use an outline or notes it went a little bit better, but I still find that I need to look at my notes way too often.

So I decided to talk to my boss about this even though it was embarrassing.  I mean, what adult should still be afraid of public speaking?  Fortunately for me, my boss was understanding and told me that she used to have the same fear, and that she would have the company pay for some public speaking courses for me before the expansion and before I have to teach anyone anything.  She seemed optimistic that this would help me, and she was reassuring about the fact that she knows I have the skill and ability to do it, I just have to get over the anxiety.  So, I suppose you could say I am cautiously optimistic.  But I’m looking forward to the classes because it would be nice to not have to worry about speaking to groups anymore.

So work has been interesting recently.  It seems that not only are we going to be expanding our office, but we’re going to be bringing in an entirely new department as well.

And guess who gets to train them all?

Me.

Now, that’s not really a big deal in and of itself.  I’ve been with the company for 5 years and I understand my position as well as the workings of the company very well.  I have the knowledge required to do everything they’re asking of me, and I was excited at first, but then my manager told me that I was expected to do it classroom style: with me speaking to groups of 20-30 people at a time.

And then I could feel the anxiety overtake me.

Ever since high school I have hated public speaking.  I used to dread the days in speech class when we had to give our speeches.  It doesn’t matter how well I know what I am talking about; when I get up there, I seem to forget everything I am supposed to know.  I remember the first day in class and we had to give an impromptu speech about ourselves.  That’s something I should know, right?  I mean, everyone knows about themselves.  So I get up there and start talking and what’s the first thing that happens?  I forgot the name of my elementary school.  I went there for 6 years, kindergarten through 5th grade, and I couldn’t remember the name of it.  That basically set the stage for all my future public speaking sessions.  Even when I would study up on my topic, I’d still  freeze up.  When we were allowed to use an outline or notes it went a little bit better, but I still find that I need to look at my notes way too often.

So I decided to talk to my boss about this even though it was embarrassing.  I mean, what adult should still be afraid of public speaking?  Fortunately for me, my boss was understanding and told me that she used to have the same fear, and that she would have the company pay for some public speaking courses for me before the expansion and before I have to teach anyone anything.  She seemed optimistic that this would help me, and she was reassuring about the fact that she knows I have the skill and ability to do it, I just have to get over the anxiety.  So, I suppose you could say I am cautiously optimistic.  But I’m looking forward to the classes because it would be nice to not have to worry about speaking to groups anymore.