Random Musings

Introvert? What Introvert?

Last weekend, I did something that I personally, as an introvert, positively, absolutely and utterly hate doing.

I spoke in public.

In front of 30 people.

For an hour.

shawn spencer what GIF

I announced that this was going to be happening in a blog post a few weeks ago, talking about MiddleMoot 2018, the conference where I spoke at. It was a conference completely and totally dedicated to Tolkien, which (obviously) is my jam. Covering nature and the environment specifically, making it fit perfectly to my undergraduate thesis, was an unexpected bonus that caused me to end up presenting.

Spoiler alert: the talk actually went really well! I was worried that I was going to go over time, because in the few practice runs I did, I definitely didn’t keep it under my required time limit, but I had enough times for a Q&A session, which turned out to be one of my favorite parts, because everyone’s insights made me realize how much I could still develop my argument and how much I still had left to learn, which was really neat. In fact, the whole conference was really neat in that way, being surrounded by like-minded individuals who usually knew more about Tolkien than I did.

Oh, and I didn’t die in the process, which is another added bonus.

It might not seem like a big deal, to talk in front of a bunch of people about a topic that you love, even for an hour, but for me, public speaking is one of my fears. Even though, if I pause to think about it rationally, I know that I’m actually pretty good at it. I also know that, even if my talk is shit or I forget what I’m saying or I mess up a slide, it’s not going to be the end of the world. I’ll move on and continue living life, no problem, and so is everyone in the audience. So why do I panic so much about it?stephen colbert james GIF

I was trying to figure that out, where the base root of this fear is planted. Could it be as simple as the fear of embarrassing myself or being judged by those listening? It might just be, even though, writing it out, that is a bit silly, all things considered. I should be able to adopt that, “So what?” mindset when it comes to the fear of being judged or embarrassed, because how is that really going to affect me, in the grand scheme of things, if I do embarrass myself or am judged for being a poor public speaker?

Not much.

And yet, I was terrified to give that presentation, even though, if I was able to swallow my fear for five seconds, I was also excited (because at least this time, it was a speech topic I actually enjoyed and was passionate about). It resulted in a lot of extra stress that was unnecessary, a poor night’s sleep the night before (sorry, babe) and, by the end of the presentation, being so drenched in sweat that my family and boyfriend who congratulated me afterwards could tell.

I’m not really sure how to wrap up this post. Basically, I’m excited that I gave that talk and proud of myself for doing so, even though it made me, as a major introvert, panic at the mere thought of it. But I guess I also wish I could learn how to handle that panic a little bit better and instead embrace it, despite nerves or fear. Because more often that not, I usually am panicking over nothing. And I’d much rather spend that time embracing something wonderful and different and new.

Here’s hoping I’ll get to that point in the future!

For now, I’m just happy I went through it with…while also being happy to not have any presentations lined up for a line, yet. 🙂



12 thoughts on “Introvert? What Introvert?”

  1. I wish I could have been there! If the Q&A section was one of your favorite parts, then that means you did a great job. Great presentations prompt great questions and spur discussions, which it sounds like you did!

    1. Awww, Jerrica, it would have been incredible to have you there. How long has it been since we’ve seen each other; years? But thank you so much, you are way too kind. ❤

  2. Good for you for going through with it. I read somewhere lately that speaking in public is THE number one fear people have, so you’re definitely not alone. I bet going through this recent experience means next time it’ll be a smidge easier, and even easier after that. And yet, when you push yourself, you still get to recover afterwards in the quiet of your home with your sweetie.

    1. Thank you so much, Priscilla!! I do think that, the more I practice and continue getting in front of people, the better chance I’ll have at not being so terrified at doing it! ❤

  3. Good for you for doing it! Public speaking can be terrifying! Wouldn’t it be nice if our fears would listen to reason and just chill out? lol. It’s awesome that it went well. I super love the name moot for cons. Brilliant.

    Also, does you’re meme mean you’re a Psych fan? because that is my all time favorite show. Love it!

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I totally wish my fears would take a chill pill, especially when they are completely irrational! Right? I thought calling it a “Moot” was so clever.

      I am a Psych fan! Right!? I absolutely LOVE that show and use their GIFs for almost everything.

  4. Congratulations – that is a huge achievement! And I’m glad that it went so well and that you had time for questions and answer time as well 😁

  5. During every English and Humanities oral presentation from the fourth grade to the ninth grade, I always cried. I’m not joking. I’d cry, stand there and rub my nose, blink, feeling totally embarrassed, too embarrassed to excuse myself. My teachers would feel so awkward that they’d gently pat my back and tell me to sit down.

    This one time, my English teacher pulled me aside, my two best-friends came to me and they made a small three-person audience for me to speak to. I absolutely hated public speaking.

    But as soon as the tenth grade came, I decided I could not cry anymore, that I needed to overcome that unnecessary fear.

    And I did. It was crazy.

    In fact, I became one of the best speakers in my year level just behind one of my good friends. Eventually I became the School Vice Captain and had to give the final speech at our last assembly. To this day, I do get nervous and my voice shakes, but when the groove sets in, it isn’t as overwhelming as I believed it always was.

    It’s a shame kids want to get rid of it in schools. It’s one of the best things an introverted soul could be part of despite the fact that we hate it so much.

    1. That is SO awesome that you were able to actually conquer that fear enough to become School Vice Captain and give that final speech. I hope you felt so proud of yourself. Can you imagine fourth grade you, knowing that future senior you, would be able to give a speech like that without crying? That’s fantastic.

      I’m not sure if I’ll ever get over the shaking/red faced/sweating that I do when giving speeches, but I do hope to be able to continue growing and giving them more confidently.

      I think you are actually right about it. Though I still do hate it and hate being forced to do it, you’re not wrong it’s a valuable skill to learn and what better time to learn it than in school?

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