Perseverations & Perspiration (Part 2)

by Mudit Srivastava
(India)

Well, I am back, after a long time & everyone who read my last story & thought that everything ended up well & fine, well, not exactly.


Just about a month after that incident, that very year, everybody in our class had to deliver a simple, one page, 1 minute speech, right after the assembly, in front of whole school.

Being me, I couldn't make a small speech, I wrote a big 15-20 mins speech on "Entrainment of Mind" after a lot of research. That day when I reached the podium, I remembered the whole thing but right after saying "Good Morning", I froze. I just couldn't move my lips, completely blank. I stood there like a nincompoop for a few more seconds & then just came back & left the assembly.
My class-teacher knew me well, she called me in the staff room & asked me what exactly happened. I had no answers, I was just too embarassed to say anything. Then she asked for the speech that I had written. She read it & was completely baffled. She said "You wrote this yourself !", I said yes. She said fine, if you can write such a speech at this age (11), I am sure you can confidently deliver it too. I denied & said "No, I think I have stage fright, this was my first chance & I now know, public speaking is not for me". She suppressed her desire to say "Bullshit" & continued, she gave me several examples of people who couldn't speak & later became effective orators & then she said "After all the students are done with this. I want you to come back & speak again, and you can consider yourself expelled if you say NO". I know now that she was just replacing my stage fright with a bigger fear, she loved me, but it worked. I practiced VERY HARD for a week or so & then I went back on the podium again & then, I surprised even myself.

All the students who criticized me last time (& believe me it was hell, they mocked me all the time for that week), even those critics were on my side now, they were all saying that now we know why you couldn't speak that day, it wasn't like ours, it was complex & it was too big ! Well done !
It's not like movies, I wish I could say, that I never looked back n'all, I still have to prepare hard, harder than most people, specially the ones who have these oratory gifts. But it's ok, atleast I know that if I set my mind to it, it's not out of my range, even though I never really started liking it,

By this narcissistic, self-appraising & painfully long comment, I only want to say one thing, that anything can be done & I am not saying this like some self-help book. I have done it. And I know it's hard & not worth it for some people to waste their energies in doing things they don't prefer, that's completely fine. But not even for a single moment, any person with any syndrome should think, that he/she is unable to do something. Sure, some things will present more resistance than usual, but that's all because there's some neurotransmitter in less quantity or some in higher. But with constant practice & some confidence, we can become much more confident & accomplish a lot more than we give ourselves credit for.

PS: I know when I start writing, I blabber a lot (my girlfriend says so). So everyone who felt that this post should have been smaller, please mention that in comment, I'd try to contain myself next time.

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