The best way to get over a fear is to confront it and move on. This is how I've managed to stand in front of literally hundreds of people and lead meetings, teach lessons, and give presentations/talks. As a girl I was so dreadfully shy that the prospect of being the center of attention for five whole minutes was enough to cause my knees to shake, my lip to quiver, and my right eye lid to twitch violently. It was not pretty. I'd end up hyperventilating and swallowing tears as my hands shook for at least an hour after each episode.
Last week I was asked to speak during Sacrament meeting. With a topic as awesome as "Continuing Education" -- which I fully endorse in all it's many facets -- I figured it would be no sweat.
A quick glance over the program told me that I would be speaking after a sister missionary who will be departing soon and the mother of an Elder in the field. Oh, yeah, and a musical number sandwiched between them.
My calculations confirmed that I would only have about five minutes to speak. Half the amount of time I had be told to anticipate.
It takes about five minutes to wrap up a sacrament meeting, sing a hymn, and say a prayer. When the Elder's mother finished her talk with only five minutes to spare I figured there was no way the bishopric would expect me to give my talk in just two or three minutes.
I was wrong.
I haven't been so nervous since I taught anatomy for the very first time as a substitute TA during the very last class of the semester and had to teach the male reproductive tract. Being starred down while holding bits of male anatomy in one hand and a metal probe in the other is unnerving. So is condensing five pages of material into five major points at a moments notice.
Not my best attempt.
Luckily for me, I've already got a date to re-do my talk! When I travel back to the Mother Land in a few weeks I've been asked to speak during Sacrament meeting in the Cornwall! Hooray! I am guaranteed at least 15 minutes. Hopefully I will be first on the program, not last.