I'm not huge fan of public speaking, or really anything that makes me blush, shake with nervous energy and sweat. And so, I usually try to avoid it whenver I can. I suppose that's one of the benefits of taking a class like this: you are forced to confront this ubiquitous fear of public speaking that almost everyone in our culture seems to have. At the beginning of the semester, we were asked to rate our comfort level, with regards to speaking in front of a group of people, on a scale from 1-100. Back then, my number was around 57. Oddly specific, I know.
Now, I'd say that number has increased to at least 68. I feel considerably more comfortable speaking in front of the class, probably since I've had to do it three times since January. Aside from just gaining public speaking experience, I've discovered that practicing my speech beforehand does wonders. Confidence might by my problem, and sufficient practice definitely helps me stay cool and collected.