I like a big stage. I love to perform and my favourite way to experience a crowd is from the stage. But there are times that I have trouble with speaking in front of people and I’ve been called shy more than once. I get nervous when I’m not given time to prepare or when something is so casual that I’m not even expected to have prepared for it. In middle school the idea of being in a conversation with five people was incredibly stressful. I was always stuck for things to say and terrified I would say the wrong thing. Speaking in front of the whole school would have been a much easier task. It could be the adrenalin of the situation, or maybe it’s that you don’t need to make eye contact with anyone, but there is definitely something about being on stage.
I’m going to be travelling to Europe soon and, while there, presenting my work at two separate conferences. The actual presenting-the-work aspect does not worry me at all and even if they ask me questions after the talk I think will cope. However if they ask me questions over dinner I suspect I will get very nervous.
I know I will need to constantly remind myself to stop, breathe, and remember that one person’s opinion of my opinions will not destroy my life.