But I Ain’t No Good At Talkin’ About the Thing and Stuff!

What are some of my greatest fears in life?

  • Spiders
  • Heights
  • The dark
  • Skydiving at night while covered in spiders.
Or this. Yeah, this would freak me out too.
Or this. Yeah, this would freak me out too.

But the biggest fear I have? The one thing I still haven’t conquered after all these years? Looks like this summer, I’ll finally have my chance.

I sat down with my college advisor last week so we could bang out my 2013 fall schedule. I’ll be taking 15 credits, full time, with classes like pharmacology and medical transcription. I’ve already taken Anatomy and Physiology I and II and I’m still on the Dean’s List, so I was feeling pretty smug. (Dean was the name of my lab partner.)

Bring it on! I thought as he pulled up my past college transcripts from 20-odd years ago. (I already have a bachelor’s degree in psych. Stop laughing.)

“Oh,” he said, squinting at his computer screen. “It seems you never took one subject! I’m sorry, but you’ll have to take it this summer.”

I peered at the monitor and felt my heart stop.

Public Speaking.


The last time I spoke in front of a large group I do believe they had to take me away on a stretcher.

This may come as a shock to you guys, but I’m an introverted person. I know, I’m a writer who’s a little shy! I love to be alone with my thoughts. I can handle intimate one on one conversations, sometimes with other people. But I detest speaking on the phone. Even with people I like. (Except you, Jules)

How in the hell am I going to endure a course that revolves around the very thing I’ve avoided my entire life?

Something odd happens when I speak in public: my voice starts to shake, my face turns red, I can hear myself droning on and on from a distance, almost like I’m having an out of body experience.  Then when I start to feel everyone’s eyes on me, boring into my skull like lasers, I think things like, I could start speaking gibberish right now! I could bust into a song and dance routine! What if I start rapping “Ice, Ice Baby”? What if I start burping uncontrollably? (some of these things happened during one memorable speech back in 1989).

So please, wish me luck this summer. I will be enduring Public Speaking for four hours a day!  Twice each week!  For over a month! And my guess is the class won’t be impressed by my Vanilla Ice impressions.

What is your biggest fear? Have you conquered it yet? If so, any tips? (I’ve already considered valium, but you need a prescription for that.)

137 thoughts on “But I Ain’t No Good At Talkin’ About the Thing and Stuff!

  1. Public Speaking sometimes terrifies me, and I get the same symptoms you do. However, when I was a disc jockey or announcing horse shows – NO PROBLEM, I venture to guess it was because I was the person in the booth and not out in front of everyone.

    If I’m speaking in front of a crowd where I’m “directing” things or emceeing (used to do that for 4-H talent shows), then I’m fine. If I have to speak about something near and dear to my heart where I want people on my side – total internal FREAK OUT. I swear people can see the color fade from my face completely.

    1. I get you, I have the same freak out when I have to defend my opinion in front of a large crowd. Too bad my professor wouldn’t let me give my speech from another room or at least in front of a room full of horses.

    1. Very true. My husband mentioned picturing everyone in their underwear too, but either way, my guess is I’d be even more distracted, possibly even in total shock. Maybe if I can picture no one at all in the room, it might work for me.

  2. You can do it SAM! After all you have vlogs under your belt. You’re qualified…funny, lots of material, and very cute, I might add. You might youtube Julie Andrews “I have confidence” and make it a theme song until then. Banish those parachuting spiders from your mind!

  3. I used to have the same experience when speaking in public, then I fronted a punk rock band for about five years. It didn’t totally cure me of my distaste for public speaking, but at least when I get a similar physical reaction to what you described while speaking in front of people, I can think clearly. So I recommend forming a punk band, because that helped me. Well, that and a year of counseling.

    What’s so funny about having a psych degree? I just finished my Masters in psych. (Sarcasm)

      1. Well you are on the right track. After my time in the band I started thinking about writing a how to guide for the aspiring punk rocker. No matter what, coming up with a good band name is always the first step. You can learn to play an instrument later, first thing is the band name.

        I like where you head is at on the fashion sense being the next step. I would probably put that a little later in the list, but fashion is also more important than being able to play an instrument.

        If you do get something set up and are looking for a mediocre guitarist, let me know, I’d love to get back into the band scene.

      2. Absolutely! Why, with your mediocre guitar skills, my subpar keyboarding skills and voice, why we’d be perfectly awful and no doubt a huge hit. (wait, punk rock bands don’t have synthesizers, do they…?)

        About the name: back in college, my roommates and I would sit around and come up with names for a rock band by randomly opening up the dictionary. We had some real gems. I remember one I always thought would be the coolest name: Liquid Lion. (Maybe I was inhaling too much secondhand smoke back then)

  4. If it starts to feel like you’re about to derail, just whip out one of your tits and keep at it like nothing is amiss. The audience will be slightly amused, stunned, or possibly disgusted (depending on their predilections) and completely uninterested in what you’re saying. It’s a sure fire B. Unfortunately, it only works the one time and topping yourself during subsequent speeches may unearth fears that are greater than the original public speaking fear. You’re very welcome in advance!

    1. Oh dear, sorry if saying tits is frowned upon on your blog. I was going to compliment you on being an intelligent, confident person based on what I’ve read on your blog, but then I see you’ve linked to gojulesgo and now I question my own judgment.

  5. Focus on a topic you are well versed on and have thought about extensively. Knowledge in the subject brings confidence. Perhaps something about plaid mugs, or paratrooper spiders that float in through your bedroom window at night, or baton twirling. I’d go with the mugs. Let me go check now that my bedroom window is closed…

  6. Statistics show that people are more afraid of public speaking than of dying. I personally would rather suffer my cold sweat,tremors, and dry tongue than die. But that’s just me.

    1. But what happens if I die while speaking? What if I fall forward and land on the poor people in the first row? Who will carry away my lifeless body? See, these are the things I worry about. The dying thing? Ah, no problem.

    2. Jerry Seinfeld, an astute observer of human behavior, once noted that the number one fear of adults is public speaking, while death is number two. He goes on to make the connection that at a funeral most people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy.

  7. Snoring Dog Studio

    Okay – deep breath – look upon it as delivering one of your wonderful vlogs. You do those so well! You’re relaxed, conversational AND I’ve never once heard you burp during one of them. Your public speaking class will give you some tools and, anyway, those people who’ll be listening to you are just classmates, not the Maine legislative assembly. I’m sure they (your classmates) are brighter, but, well. Uh, um. Errh.

    1. Haha! Your last lines killed me.

      I appreciate your tips, I do. Thank you. I hope it works. My classmates are all around 18 or 19 years old and say things like, “Um…like, yeah… like totally, whatevs, dude”

      How will I compete with that? They’ll just sit there, roll their eyes and judge me and I’ll panic and it’ll be just like high school all over again except this time I’m old and wrinkly.

      1. Snoring Dog Studio

        Hah! You are so not old and wrinkly. They’ll admire you, secretly, while they’re looking disdainful. Some people’s kids!

  8. I give you credit, because if I ever had to take a public speaking class, I would drop out ON THE SPOT. Nothing is worth that humiliation for me. I feel your pain and wish you luck! I truly think you couldn’t be any worse than me. Seriously, I even get nervous with one-on-ones. Just YIKES.

    1. So what you’re saying is to drop on the spot? I can do that. I can do that very well.

      I don’t mind one on one convos or even small groups of people (small meaning two or less) But if I’m even in a crowd of three or more, I clam up and am totally socially awkward. I’m just not good at talking at all. Thank god I can write. Too bad I couldn’t just write all my speeches and hire someone else to give them to the class.

  9. I am right there with you! I cannot stand public speaking. When taking speech in college I always did great on my written portion, but my speeches were lacking. My professor told me I “swallow my sentences.” Whatever that means – make sure you don’t do that.

    Just tell jokes. Then laugh when no one else does. Always works for me.

    1. Hmm….I wonder what that means too. I tend to ramble. If the person I am talking to doesn’t respond at all, I will keep going and going and next thing you know I’m breakdancing to Ice, Ice Baby.

  10. I am coming out of my public speaking shell since blogging. I haven’t spoken to a big group yet, but I don’t have the fear I once had. The few times I held a microphone, it felt really awkward and I could hear the reverb of my voice. My son is an amazing public speaker and he said I just have to practice and I’ll get more comfortable. My husband was born with a mic in his hand!
    You can do it!

  11. My biggest fear is your biggest fear so I really feel for you–good luck–but you know, you do so well on your videos that I think this is going to be a piece of cake. My advice to you–don’t imagine your audience naked–it is not generally a pretty picture!

  12. Okay, this isn’t my biggest fear (I’m not sure what that is, but carnival rides is up there), but I was just talking about the weird discrepancy I have: I love performing and even public speaking, but I hate, dread and cringe at taking a bow/curtain calls. I fidget, I don’t know where to look, I can’t smile. It’s ridiculous.

    1. That is surprising to me, B. See, that is the only part of performing I would eat right up.

      And carnival rides? Me too. Depends on the ride, but not a big fan of coasters for sure, I panic especially during the slow steady climb at the beginning, the clicking of the roller coaster much like the ticking of my heart that is about to explode from sheer fear.

  13. Do you think they’ll let you do something else instead of speaking? Maybe baton twirling??

    Would it help if I sent a cardboard cut-out of myself to put in the audience? In ‘stache glasses?

    1. Thanks, Renee, that is the perfect idea. And I have come pretty far, right? I suppose talking about my fear of public speaking on a public blog is a step. Maybe I’ll practice with some vlogs in the future.

  14. Oh crap, yeah, that sounds like a friggin’ nightmare! I mean, no problem, piece of cake!! Mmmm, cake. What are talking about?

    I have no tips. It’s a fear of mine as well. I think I’ve told this story around the interwebs before (maybe here?), but the first time I had to call a case in open court, I was so nervous my voice was shaking and I could barely get through the 20 some words I had to put on the record (not a trial, just a brief statement). Afterwards, the Judge called me up and suggested that I go home and practice speaking in the mirror. Yep, it was THAT bad. I was mortified.

    So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m no help at all. I mean, I’ve gotten lots better, but that has come with time and repitition and extreme knowledge of the subject being spoken about. So, besides just doing it and getting better at the doing it . . . maybe practice in a mirror? 😉

    And if all that fails, slay them with your Ice Ice Baby performance. Works every time.

    1. I could understand feeling the way you do, Misty, in front of a judge etc. You should feel proud for getting better at it. The only job I had where I had to speak in front of large groups was when I was a preschool teacher. But then, my audience spent most of their time picking their noses so I could have break danced to Ice Ice Baby and they wouldn’t have noticed.

  15. I was so happy that my college offered a choice: group presentation, or individual public speaking. I jumped on that group class like it was a life jacket in the middle of the ocean. Admittedly it wasn’t as sweet of a deal as it sounds – this was the class that made me really detest group projects because it wasn’t that we were slackers, it was that all seven people were really into it but all had immensely different ideas – but still, over individual public speaking, I’d make that choice again.

      1. Though in all fairness, even when other people were presenting there was at least a little bit of pressure on everyone else – we all had to stand at the front for every presentation of our group members, and thus had to look interested and not fidget during others’ presentations (which was hard for me since I wanted to go over my speech in my head). Ah well, pros and cons on both sides.

  16. I’m a fellow hater of public speaking whereas my husband will speak at the opening of an envelope. I guess four hours a day will be a bit like immersion therapy for phobias…..

  17. you’re right that is scary!! i hate it as well! public speaking, confrontation!! it all freaks me out… but not as much as jaws and the ocean. i guess, you have to take a shot, get up there, hopefully not pass out and get it over with it. good luck!!

  18. I actually love public speaking and can often make up very witty things on the fly, but I am terrified of spiders so that pic of the parachuting spiders made my hair stand on end :). Flying also does me in and I actually need to take some medication to help calm my nerves for that.

    Here are my tips for the public speaking:
    – practice in a mirror… a lot,
    – articulation,
    – use cue cards that contain the starting points of what you want to say and then only the most important points,
    – don’t start your speech on a joke (a question is good) but save the joke for midway through to catch attention again,
    – use only one really good anecdote to end it (if you keep it personal then you can lose some nerves)

    I hope that helps and good luck.

    1. Wow, your advice is great, thank you! I’ll have to try practicing in front of a mirror, although I will probably end up laughing at first.

      That spider photo I think was from an actual news story about spiders that seemed to fall out of the sky onto some poor village. My worst nightmare.

  19. I do wish you the very best of luck! But anyone who raps Ice Ice Baby is a pretty dece public speaker in my book. If you really want to take it up a notch, I’d go with Sir Mix-a-lot. 😉

  20. My heart goes out to you! I’d rather be trapped on an elevator with a huge spider than have to speak publicly. My only advice is to practice. Practice in front of your dog, if you have one. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice in front of your husband. I’m sure he’ll be all ears.

    Just visualize yourself being fabulous! We’re rooting for you! 🙂

  21. What if you took on a different blogger persona while you were public speaking? You could give your speech as the Byronic Man or GoJulesGo.

    I’m not a fan of public speaking either. Funny, I can stand up in front of a classroom to teach, but any other time I break out in a cold sweat.

  22. If you can juggle a full class load while taking care of a home, husband and 2 kids, talking in front of a class of 18-year-olds will be a cake walk. You can DO IT!!!!

  23. Here’s my patented tried-and-true method for getting over the fear and becoming a better public speaker: lower your standards.

    Seriously. I used to imagine myself giving talks that were witty and engaging to an audience of people transfixed by what I had to say. And then I’d start talking, and I’d notice that a couple people seemed distracted, and a couple more seemed bored, and I’d start focusing my attention on how badly I was failing, and it would just go downhill from there. So now I just try to get through my talk and maybe hold a couple people’s interest — and I actually do much better than when I had loftier goals.

    1. That is actually a sound piece of advice. I think you’re right, I’m never going to capture the attention of more than a few people, so really, I shouldn’t be freaking out. Most of my audience will be too busy texting to even notice I’m speaking.

  24. I had the same fear of public speaking – but when I learned that I could skip the term paper in Art History classes by teaching one class I decided it was time to overcome it. If I could just read and make notes it would save me from hours at the typewriter (yes, I am that old). My other big fear has always been spiders – I’m getting over it thanks to a nasty bout with a brown recluse. All other spiders are now just pests who are harmless by comparison, and I kicked that brown recluses but (with the help of antibiotics, steroids, antihistamines and a week off work.

    1. Oh, I remember typewriters! Took all my typing courses dealing with jammed ribbons and white-out.

      And I’m sorry, I forgot the rest of your comment because I started hyperventilating when I got to the words “nasty bout with a brown recluse”

  25. Tar-Buns

    I get a physical reaction when I’m interviewing for a job and when in big confrontations. I can’t breathe, turn beat red, AND I’d get a red rash on my chest.
    When I was a DJ on the radio – no problemos, it was fun!!!
    Luckily I haven’t had to seriously interview for many years. Hope that continues.
    Don’t to worry, you’ll be swell! Just remember to breathe!!! 🙂

    1. I used to be nervous at job interviews, but I’ve been to so many over the years, now I go in there super confident. I act like I don’t care and for some odd reason, that seems to impress the interviewer the most. It’s like when George Costanza realized if he did the opposite thing, people would love him.

  26. Do your first talk about how everybody is afraid of public speaking. You will win the audience and get it over with.

    This is the public speaking version of my sure fire way to talk to people you have no idea what to say to — “Don’t you hate trying to figure out what to say to people you don’t know?” It works every time because everybody hates talking to people they don’t know. They also hate public speaking.

    Knock em dead, Darla. You are a star!

          1. OK, I’ve really got it now.

            Is it worse to make a bad speech or hear a bad speech? That way you’re going to have them in your camp no matter what.

  27. Ive had to speak occasionally. I am usually origly nervous beforehand, but once I get started that all goes away. Here’s my take on public speaking. BE PREPARED, BE PREPARED…. DID I SAY, BE PREPARED. And if you are not prepared?? Make sure you have a good PowerPoint presentation to back you up!!

        1. Well… to reply to the “being drunk right now” accusation, I was definitely NOT drunk at 8:50 am when you wrote this. But I will admit to having a little wine the night before… Although I still can’t figure how autocorrect f’d up the word “very” so badly. See, I’m blaming it on autocorrect!!

  28. First, where are the vlogs??!! I want to see them!

    Your forte is humor. Hopefully, you will be able to give a speech on a humorous topic, put your own spin on it, and from there on you should just be able to have fun with it.

    I used to have to give speeches to anywhere from a few hundred people to a thousand. The first time was terrifying, my face was red, I stumbled over words, etc., but someone told me something that helped me tremendously. You need to think about what the people are feeling as they sit there looking at you. Nothing. That’s right. They have few emotions and are certainly not there to judge you as a person. They are simply waiting to hear what you have to say. Think about how you feel when you are in an audience. You sit there, and you listen. You really have no feelings – unless the speech brings out emotions – laughter, tears, smiles. Remembering how I felt as an audience member helped to take the pressure off of me as a speaker. … Now, point me to the vlogs!! 😉

    1. Oh, Maddie, you don’t realize what you’re asking about the vlogs, do you? OK, you asked for it….go up to my “Categories” widget and click on Vlogs. Then sit back and be prepared to be truly astonished.

      Your advice about what the audience is truly thinking during a speech is SPOT ON. I have to say, this is a huge piece of advice for me. I’ve seen terrible speeches, I’ve witnessed people tripping up on stage even and I never really cared to be honest. You are so right!

  29. I do love to talk and joke, but I also feared the open mic. I was a radio news reporter and eventually got over that. When I began – like you, Darla, I had to hold on to the podium so people wouldn’t see my hands shake. Still, I’m pretty sure my voice shook.

    With practice, you’ll be fine. You have a wonderful way with words and I can tell that you have a very engaging personality. Go for the gusto!

  30. Oh, I totally avoided public speaking as long as I could in my undergraduate, but finally, I took it and survived. 😀 I find picturing people naked incredibly distracting so I try to look at the crowd without ever lingering on one person, unless you know somebody in the crowd and then sometimes it helps to look at someone who will support you even if you end up get carried out on a stretcher. I found that lots of research and practicing what you want to say over and over and over again can be helpful. Wishing you the best, Darla!

  31. Oh this has always been my fear too! I attended an all girls catholic high school. Imagine talking in front of 50 catty bioches…dear lord. Blowing the assignment off and getting an F was how I faced that fear. About 4 years ago I was forced to give a speech on a subject that I was extremely passionate about and I nailed it. Someone who I knew for 20 years came up to me after and said “since when did you get a voice?” That was a ver profound moment for me. Good luck…you’re going to do great!!

  32. The more you do of anything, the easier it gets. And, remember, most people don’t like public speaking (except a few narcissistic jerks). So you will be in the fin company of people like yourself: glossophobes (people who fear public speaking).

    I used to rehearse my speeches in front of my bathroom mirror (always a friendly face in the audience). Then, when I had to deliver the speech, I imagined the mirror. It helped.

    You’ll do fine. You are among people who are just like you!

    1. Glossophobe! I never knew that was what I am. Makes me feel less of a weirdo now.

      I will have to practice in front of a mirror for sure. And good point, the rest of the class is probably nervous too.

  33. Ah. Good luck. I had to take Public Speaking, too. The first speech was supposed to be 5 minutes about ourselves. I rushed through and finished in 1-1/2 minutes. I got an F. On a speech I gave about myself.

    My next speech was about Ted Bundy. I memorized 7 minutes of material and froze halfway through. Imagine how much fun that was for me and the rest of the class. NOT!

    But now that I have to do public speaking for work, I’m a little better at it. I still get nervous, but I just keep hoping it doesn’t show. And they keep letting me talk, so I must be doing okay.

    1. Good tips: don’t rush. I tend to talk super fast when I’m nervous too, so this is good to know. But a speech about myself? Good lord! That is not gonna be a good speech. I’d rather talk about Ted Bundy.

      My fear is freezing halfway through. I didn’t realize these speeches would be TIMED. My heart palpitations are already starting just thinking about that.

  34. I am terrified of public speaking. Whenever I have to do it, my mouth goes dry, my voice quivers and cracks, my knees buckle, and I’m pretty sure everyone can see my heart beating out of my chest. I haven’t ever actually fainted but I’ve come close. Valium/Xanax/Ativan work wonders for taking the edge off, but like you said, you need an Rx for them.

    I’ll be praying for you! Self-reiki and grounding helps too, by the way.

    1. Oh yeah! Self-Reiki is a good suggestion. Would anyone think I was weird if I did that during my speech? I have to keep practicing Reiki, I’ve been slacking big time lately. I’ve pretty much stopped doing that and meditation. Maybe I could do a speech on those things. Or the benefits of Valium.

  35. The first (unfortunately not the last) time I did this, was in front of my grade 6 class. (It was just like you described). Apparently I had a fit and fainted. I was out for over half and hour they said. And I still hate talking in front of groups, the smaller the better, but I just won’t go any further.
    As for other fears, add snakes to your sentence at the top and I’m just about there. 🙂
    I hope you do well this summer.

    1. Oh my god! That is terrible. I’ve never fainted before but I wouldn’t be surprised if the first time was my very first speech during this class.

      Snakes really freak out my husband. I’d take a snake over a spider any day of the week though.

  36. Yes you’ll be nervous and yes you may stammer … but you know what? You may do just great!

    I can do it if I know the subject and feel confident talking about it .. .but getting put on the spot makes me sweat 🙂

    and spiders do, too.

    Bests to you!! MJ

    1. Aw, thanks, MJ! You always make me smile and are so positive. You’re right, I think if I have something prepared it will be MUCH easier than say, when the teacher asks me a question in front of the class I don’t know the answer.

  37. winsomebella

    Try to imagine yourself Vlogging with us followers rather than talking to a live audience. Maybe you can hold your laptop in your hands to help you with that :-).

  38. Will you have a microphone? I actually like speaking with a microphone, because it makes my voice sound loud and authoritative, and fools people into thinking I have something to say. My wife says it’s annoying at the dinner table, but I don’t care.

    Darla, you’ll be great.

    1. But I bet it comes in handy when you’re trying to get through to your son. Until this post, I wasn’t even considering the possibility of a microphone! Good god, now I’m REALLY freaking out.

  39. Of course, you’ll pretend like you’re speaking to us, so you’ll be all down and personal in your delivery. I predict the narrative and persuasive speeches you WILL nail to the wall. I think for the cultural informative speech you should use your favorite topic: Growing Up in Maine. You’ll have them rolling in the aisles. Good luck.

  40. Deborah the Closet Monster

    I was trying to think of an off-the-cuff answer to your parting question, but nothing’s coming. So without naming my worst fear, I’ll say I’ve taken solid steps to minimize its impact on my life. 🙂

    Reading this makes me profoundly grateful I took public speaking when I was 15. I hopehopehope no one requires a repeat in light of its being so long ago! Regardless, I know I’ll be game for the challenge, as I know you will be. Rock that class.

  41. Oh wow. I feel you, dawg. You have no idea how much public speaking terrifies me. I can be the most eloquent, charming person one-on-one. Then stick a mic on me and put me in from of a mere 20 people and I’m like Spicoli from Ridgemont High. I am awful. I can get heart palpitations in a room full of people when we’re simply asked to go around the room and introduce ourselves.

    1. I would love it if you could just say: “I feel you, dawg” for every comment from now on. Because it’s so true. You do feel me. We get each other. You pickin’ up what I’m throwin’ down, ya dig?

      And as my daughter would say: “O…..M….G!” Whenever we have to go around the room and introduce ourselves? I immediately start plotting a way to escape. Instead I just sit there frozen in place and listen to my heart pounding in my ears.

      1. Yeah, I pretty much don’t listen to anyone’s introductions until mine is out of the way. Then fifteen minutes later, I’m all like, “Who is that? What’s your name? Where are you from? Uh, yeah, I wasn’t paying attention.”

  42. I was an introverted kid in high school yet I chose to join the forensics team. I figured it would look good on my college application. It was TOUGH. As in, I was like you, afraid to speak in public. One of the kids on the team told me not to worry about it, because I would probably never ever see any of these kids ever again after my speeches. So if I screwed up, who would remember? And if I did see them again, so what? Like they are going to remember my slip up over some other stupid kid’s even stupider speech (and there is always somebody who is even stupider). For whatever reason, that seemed to help. I went on to fame and glory (hah!) and even gave the student speech at my community college graduation, because I was student body president. For realz. Only, we called that position “Moderator” back then. But really, it was the same thing.

    Moral of this rambling little story–don’t sweat it. Sounds simplistic, I know.

    1. ha! I had to laugh at your “and there’s always someone stupidier”. Words to live by in life, for sure. You are SO right. I will never see any of these classmates again in my life. They won’t remember me as anything more than the old lady in their class anyway. Kudos to you for being the student prez and giving that speech. I’m hoping this class actually does help me erase those old fears of mine.

  43. I took public speaking in college and have zero recollection of it. But I remember the one I took in high school, because it was right in the heat of the PMRC movement, and I managed to make every one of speeches very passionate and about how Tipper Gore needed to stop messing with my heavy metal music.

    So here’s what you do. You take all this good advice about preparation and stuff, and you vlog your speeches before you have to give them. Then run a giveaway for the most helpful critique. That way it’s actual practice. The winner of the giveaway gets to write your next speech, which you will also pre-vlog. In this way the summer class will pass, and you will be on to the carefree fall with 15 credit hours of the easy stuff (ha!).

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