I was insulted when I got stuck for the very first time in my life.
I remember sitting on the bench of class 6, chattering, shouting like a typical village school.
Suddenly, sir rushed in.
We quickly adjusted our seats as if we did not do anything.
He asked me to come outside and when we went out he said, “Would you like to give a speech in the block on this Independence day?”
I was very hesitant.
I don’t know how he managed but he convinced me. He wrote the speech for me.
Out of all the people in my school, I was selected. This boosted my ego. I felt proud.
The day came and we went there.
I enjoyed it during the entire journey because there was a girl sitting behind me on the bike. But the moment I reached there I started feeling weird pain in my chest. I stepped in and my heart picked the pace making me uncomfortable and nervous.
There were no students from other schools but us.
We waited for a long time and then the guest came and the program started. My father got to know about it so, he was also present in that room.
I went in and forgot everything.
In one second, My mind got blank. I could only address the guest.
My heart was beating fast, my throat got dry and I kept standing there without speaking anything. I tried to speak something spontaneously but I could not.
Everything around me seemed blank, the room was in pin-drop silence and the noise of a wall clock was very loud, it was piercing the silence throughout.
I was secretly wishing to pass that time but every second was going so slow that I could feel them.
That guest started yelling, “Is this a joke?”, “Who are their parents?”, “Is it what they have taught?” and so on…
He left the room.
The moment he left I felt the best relax in my life but the way he insulted my parents hurt me hard. Especially because my father was there.
After that, I still pushed myself to give speeches in school in Odia. I did fumble, and I did get nervous, Of course, my throat gets dry but somehow I manage to complete it.
I remember My first ever income I have got is ₹250/-, by becoming second in a speaking event.
But the same thing happened to me again in my college when I gave a presentation. I stuck!
Why do I get stuck in English and CAN’T Speak?
There are two main reasons…
- Attention (Lack of Words)
We usually get stuck when there is authority sitting in front of us. Instead of concentrating on our speech, we focus on various aspects such as “What if I will be wrong?”, “Is he perceiving me good?”, ” I have to be perfect” etc etc.
If this is the case then, you will not get scared in front of a young audience if you’re speaking in your mother tongue.
I have seen people saying, “I usually get stuck while speaking in English and find no words to express myself. How do I improve?”
The reality is attention makes you forget words.
See, it is not a vocabulary problem. As long as you are able to understand me right now, there is no wrong with words. If you still don’t agree, try to speak in a closed room being alone. My assumption is you will complete it effortlessly.
The problem is when 100s of people are staring at you with an expectation in their eyes. It can easily freak you out and make you forget your words.
What To Do When You Get Stuck For Words While Speaking?
There are two solutions to this…
- Short term solution
- Long term solution
1. Short term solution.
Try this fun experiment now:
Imagine, you are running on a hill. So, take breaths as fast as possible and change your attention with your every individual breath for 1 minute.
Did you feel your blood pressure increase? Did you feel unstable?
This is exactly how you feel on the stage. If taking short breaths and changing attention can make you nervous then doing the opposite can make you focused and calmer.
Try this: Focus on one point on your wall and try to think, you will see it is very hard
Focus on one point and take a deep slow breath and try to recollect what you were about to speak.
- Focusing on one point will shut your thoughts.
- Taking deep breaths will reduce the blood pressure reducing your panic or nervousness.
Even if you take 20-30 seconds to do this, it’s okay. People will understand. They will certainly co-operate.
2. Long term Solutions
Mark twin said, ” there are two types of speaker, one is nervous and another is lier”. So, it is very normal.
However, If you can imagine yourself talking 1000 seminars, will you get stuck in 1001th?
So, the long term solution is to keep throwing yourself on the stage over the time you will stop feeling it.
3. Don’t focus on others.
When you are on the stage, you are only talking about the person who is listening, you are not proving yourself.
When you stop focusing on ‘how you are looking’, ‘how you are supposed to say?’ or ‘what they are thinking about you?’, you perform better.
When you are on the stage you are already having more and you are here to share. Now, if you are here to share then think only about others and how I can give them more, how I can explain or express them better.
Remember, If people are getting something out of you, they will not see whether you are wearing a golden jacket or a bare body.
Be selfless, forget your assistance, and make it for them and about them only.
When the inner critic will stop it is not hard to find words in mind.