Stage Fright

The thought of speaking
In front of an audience
Is one that scares me no end
All eyes focused up on me,
Waiting eagerly to hear
Something they can comprehend

The butterflies in my stomach
The dryness of my mouth
Legs wobbling like jelly
Palms all a-sweaty
Bile rising in my throat
All these feelings I endure
I breathe a few times
Deeply in and out
Clear my throat slowly
Looking at the paper I’ve got
The words are all blurry
I cannot see a thing
The tears they start swimming
And my mind shuts within
Blackness comes over me
As I crumple to the floor
Never again am I doing this
Not giving a speech anymore

This was written for One Single Impression Prompt No. 171
Until next time,

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  • Bikram
    6 June 2011 at 12:21 pm

    hmmmm I totall understand this .. but I must thank my teachers when i was studying I someone got over it all and now it doesnot bother me at all speaking up.. I have done it on a lot of occassions and in a lot of places ..

    But first time is scary I am sue if you try a second time it will come naturally..


  • Psych Babbler
    6 June 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I’m not as bad as I used to be Bikram. When I was in high school I started
    getting stage fright but then for my Masters, there were lots of assignments
    that involved presentations and in that manner of just doing it, I overcame
    my stage fright. Now I’m able to do it when required for work more or less.
    But yeah, for about 10 years of my life, suffered the worst possible stage

  • Titaxy
    6 June 2011 at 1:18 pm

    sigh. it’s as if you were talking about me 😀 i still have a lot of stage fright.  my colleague keeps suggesting that i do some public speaking course, but then im too afraid for now 😀 maybe someday!

  • Psych Babbler
    6 June 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Apparently the best way to get over stage fright or any form of social anxiety is exposure i.e. doing it a lot rather than avoiding it. I know I avoided it for years and it made it worse. You could check out Toastmasters…I think it’s something across the globe. I’ve been thinking of doing it myself but haven’t found the time.

  • Prats
    6 June 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Very well written, but is it true about you or just a poem you wrote on stage fright?

  • Teri C
    7 June 2011 at 12:05 am

    I have been there and you describe it perfectly except in my case, the minute I opened my mouth to talk, all the nervousness left and I had fun.  Was I ever surprised.

  • Psych Babbler
    7 June 2011 at 2:49 am

    Thanks Prats! I used to have stage fright from about the age of 12 till the
    age of 22. Never fainted but would get sooooo nervous and would finish a 5
    min speech in a minute. Got better when I did my post-grad because I had
    several presentations as part of my assignments and now I’m a whole lot
    better! Still get clammy cold hands and increased heart rate but that’s
    about it.

  • Psych Babbler
    7 June 2011 at 2:50 am

    I wish I had felt that way Teri! When I used to have massive stage fright, I
    would finish a 5 min speech in a minute because I as that nervous and would
    speak real quickly!

  • Kendra Yuri
    9 June 2011 at 6:14 am

    I understand what you are feeling by the moment you were up and being in front of many people, I just remembered my high school days, my whole body was shaking and obviously my hand were really pale and cold, thank God I didn’t past out lol… after that event in school I told myself I should get use to it cos I would look like dumb when I get to college and much more when I get to an interview for the job I wanted… it’s really nice to read this kind of poem.

  • Psych Babbler
    9 June 2011 at 8:45 am

    Welcome to this space Kendra! I was really bad for about 10 years through
    high school and then college…I think I got over it towards the end of my
    undergrad and more so in my post grad where presentations were mandatory. I
    still get a bit nervous when I have to give a speech but apart from an
    increased heart rate and cold hands, I’m okay! It’s good that you didn’t
    avoid it when you first felt anxious…I did and that’s what made it worse.