Today I got it wrong. First day of orientation and the very first answer I gave to a crowd of 100+ was wrong. I melted in my chair like a stick of butter on a hot summer day
When the moderator asked, who knows the answer to this question, the silence was deafening. I hated it. Five..six…seven…eight…nine seconds had passed yet no one offered an answer. Why prolong everyone’s suffering? Instead, I chose to be the sacrificial lamb and of course I got it wrong.
Like most people, public speaking doesn’t come easy to me. Although I dreaded public speaking, the silence was even more unbearable. Following my answer, a multitude of thoughts rushed into my head. Why did I have to open my big mouth? Why did I choose to answer that question? What do they think of me now? Sadly, these thoughts flooded my mind for most of the afternoon and distracted me from enjoying the rest of the day.
Truth is, public speaking is a beast. Some get trampled when they don’t know how to tame it. If you get trampled, you should still try again. There will be times when you get it right and other times when you don’t. It only matters if you’re naming the winner of the Ms. Universe pageant.
Still, odds are, most people don’t care. If they care, they’ll talk about it but eventually they’ll move on to the next topic. Take a chance. Dare to speak. Dare to break the silence. We all had to say goo goo gaga before we could pronounce onomatopoeia.