Conquering fear of public speaking

Amelia Watkins recites her speech for the county contest. Speeches were recorded and judged virtually for the 2021 contest.

Scared, nervous, excited and anxious. These are a few of the feelings I felt the first time I did 4-H public speaking.

Wow! I am glad I conquered my fears and participated not only once, but twice in the 4-H public speaking event.

In fourth grade, I had my first opportunity to participate in a public speaking contest. I chose to write about my favor- ite sport, softball. First, I won in my classroom, then I won in my school, and after that I won in my county. Lastly, I went
to sub-regionals and placed second.

The competition was fierce. I had so much fun participating in this event in fourth grade, I couldn’t wait for my opportu- nity to participate again in the fifth grade. This time, I spoke about my role model, Coach Scarlet McSwain. The same sequence of events took place my second time around, but this time, I ended up placing first in sub-regionals. After all those feelings of being nervous and anxious, I was so thrilled with the outcome I had.

I had such a great experi- ence, and have learned to overcome my fears of standing in front of a crowd and have become confident in my public speaking ability.

A few of the most valuable lessons I learned that will help me in the future, are how to be a problem solver when mistakes are made while speaking in front of a crowd, the importance of memorizing my speech, and how to pace myself when talking aloud.

I want to encourage everyone to participate in the 4-H public speaking contest, because talking in front of crowds could help you during different

aspects of your life. Doing the 4-H public speaking contest when you’re young, could also

help you get all your nerves out for when you speak in front of crowds when you’re older.

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