Today in one of my classes I had to do a short presentation on anatomist Andreas Vesalius. I put together a powerpoint with the basic facts and some images, and had other points I wanted to discuss written down on a sheet of paper. I knew my material well enough that I could recite it from memory and went through many practice presentations in my bedroom.
But as soon as I got in front of the class, I choked. I instantly felt short of breath and jittery. It was really obvious that my nerves were getting to me and my presentation suffered. I rushed through it and left out more than a few details that I had made note of. I figured I'd feel relieved when I was finished, but instead I was so embarrassed and upset.
I don't know what it is, but there's something about people who I don't know in school settings that make me anxious. I'm mostly and introvert but also have a lot of extroverted characteristics. Being around people I'm unfamiliar with or being the center of attention in a social gathering doesn't bother me at all. The difference in environments may be the cause of this anxiety, though. Social settings are so laid back and if someone makes some sort of error in conversation, everyone brushes it off and moves on. School settings are much more uptight and I can really feel the pressures of having to do your absolute best at everything.
There haven't been too many times that I've had to publicly speak, but there will be more in the future so I need to be able to overcome this fear as soon as possible. I know I'm not the only one who's like this; public speaking is what's most feared among people, even more than death. It's something so simple and yet I turn it into a traumatic experience.
Fears don't just disappear overnight so there's going to be a lot of work required on my part. Hopefully I can get over this sooner rather than later; being scared is no fun!