Sunday 14 February 2016


Reader Sophia writes about the anxiety - and  the triumph - of learning to speak in public... thought provoking and inspiring!

Sophia says:
Shoulders back. Chin up. Eyes forward. I'm sure it seems a lot like I'm a princess in training, but I'm not. I am a regular student, just like you. It seems it has come to that dreaded part of the year when past memories - or nightmares, as I would rather call them - are dredged up before our eyes. Because it's happening again. We are no longer able to creep down the halls, following, not leading. There are no people to hide behind, because it's your turn now, the moon always rises and when it does the sun shines directly on it. There is no shadow to smuggle you away.It is a full moon; the moon is you.

You speak the words from the shaking cue cards, held in your sweaty palms. You are continuously reminding yourself, you only have to last for four minutes. The utter reality of the whole class gaping at you is hitting you in that very second. You would rather be at the back of the classroom, your nose almost touching the desk because the words are flowing out of you so fast.You are a writer, not a speaker. You are one of the two types of people in this world, that I've come to realise there are. I am the quiet not the loud, the submissive not the outgoing.

More often than not, those who cannot bear to place two feet down in front of the whiteboard are the ones that write a brilliant speech, if only they had the confidence to follow it through. Then there are those with convincing voices, bringing such superb elements to their speech that it balances the lack of art within the words. But I am the quiet, submissive, nose in a book kind of gal, and I am standing. Not fainting. But standing. My shoulders back. My chin up. My eyes facing forward, Because I am a writer, and words should not just be read, but said, and my words are worth being heard.

I am standing, my two feet in front of the whiteboard. Are you?

Cathy says:
Wow... I wish I'd read this when I was twelve or thirteen and quaking in my shoes at the idea of reading out loud, let alone the idea of delivering a speech. I am used to public speaking now, but back then it seemed all but impossible! Can YOU talk well in public? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. I think I'm only ever good at speaking in public when I'm really passionate about what I'm speaking about. This is really helpful though. I know that the key to success with speaking in public is to be confident and not to let the audience in front of you faze you!:) <3

  2. Depending on the mood I'm in, I can either be a confident speaker or have a 'don't-really-care-it-would-all-be-over-soon' attitude whilst I speak. Superb article Sophie, how old are you?

    1. Thank you and I'm 17 :) Also it's Sophia

  3. Beautiful piece of writing. I know what it is like to get up in front of a group of people and read something that comes right from you, your soul. I have gotten shaky before, almost had a heart attack. I am good at public speaking after doing drama for three years. Yet when it comes to reading something I have written, out loud, I freak and get very wobbly. My guts churn. I know how good I am, I know how much I love what I do. But I do not know how I get up there in front of a infinite crowd and speak. Its so scary because your reading something that comes right from your heart. Your reading a part of you.

  4. Oh no I can't do public speaking, i had a few really bad times in school and out of school activities where I was expected to do a talk in front of others, this is what led me to have anxiety problems and had to stop doing a lot of things in my life and had to go to lots of appointments at hospital and assessments ETC :( Public speaking is not for me anyway.

  5. Amazing arrival and you're so pretty�



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