November 19, 2008 was the first time I ever saw Carrie Underwood in concert and was thus the absolute best day of my life. And every year since then, it's been pretty good times. There are usually movie premieres that happen to fall on this day every year so I think things like New Moon (I had a good time, even if the movie was dumb!), HP part 1, Catching Fire, etc., have all happened on this day. It's kind of a magical day because of that fateful Carrie concert 6 years ago.
Yesterday was November 19, 2014, and it was a day to go down in the books. For one, it was a really good dance day in my contemporary dance class. I felt like I was so in tune with my body and dancing mind and everything seemed to flow and dance beautifully. I was in the zone! And I love the zone. That's a topic for another day though.
Second, was that I gave my persuasive speech in my public speaking class. This was worth 200 points, so 1/5 of our grade, but more than that, it felt really important to me that I give the speech properly. It was about the ugly side of fashion, and I wish I would have taken a video of the speech, but it's all written down, so soon-ish I will do a post on that and you can read it because it really was such a good speech.
Anyway, it was a topic I feel really really strongly about and I wanted to do it justice! And for me, even though I've learned a ton from this public speaking class and improved a lot, I still have to practice a ton or I mess up and stutter. So I did. I practiced this speech for about 4 hours the day before and 1 hour the day before, not to mention the weeks I spent before it was due, writing it up and making sure it was all perfect.
I've never been more nervous for a speech, but I eventually gave it and felt like I did a terrible job. Gah. I was going over everything in my head that I could have and should have said, but I was like, whatever, it's fine. (sorry, this post sounds so much like something a teenager wrote, and I'm 23. 23!)
Before class was over, we were all voting on one person from our class to send to the Sloan Showcase, which is a BYU Public Speaking showcase where one person from each public speaking class gets chosen to speak at it. So we all sent in our votes and I think it would have been really cool to have been chosen but another student, actually a professor taking the class, who has put so much work into it and is an excellent public speaker, got chosen, so we were all really happy about that.
Okay, here's the magic part. Guess who the runner up was?
When my teacher said "Kailee," I really wish I could go back and look at the video of my face because SHOCK people. And then some real pride in myself. I was the runner-up! What the heck! I also looked at the feedback from my classmates afterward and was so surprised to see mostly scores of 9s and 10s. Crazy. You really have no idea!
Here's the thing, I took this class not because it was required, but because I needed it, because I am NOT (or was not) a good public speaker. Imagine me six months ago, never raising my hand in class or church to comment, never saying the prayer, never getting up to do any sort of public speaking, and when having to, feeling absolutely petrified and doing anything to avoid it. Fear.
So what changed? Why did I make myself take a public speaking class when it was the very thing I dreaded?
One day after church this past summer, probably in June or July?, one of my friends who was in the Relief Society presidency came up to talk to me after church. And she asked me why I never commented in church, because she always saw me taking notes and thinking about stuff when questions were asked, but never actually seeing me respond. My response was something like, "when I talk, words don't come out eloquently and also I'm so bad at public speaking," which was true, so true. And still kind of is, I really have a hard time speaking on the spot. But she was just like, "huh. Well, you should comment sometime." And that was pretty much it.
I guess I had always kind of seen myself as someone who just wasn't good at speaking in public, and seeing that as something that wouldn't change. But after my friend told me that, I thought about it, and from then on, I considered commenting in church, something I never considered before because it scared me too much to do so. I think it too me literally like a month and a half to finally do it, but I made a comment one day in church and my roommate Olivia was shocked because she'd never seen me do that.
That was the first day I decided to get over my fear and signing up for public speaking class went along with that. No joke, I really dreaded taking that class and I kept asking myself why in the world I was putting myself through torture, but this was something I wanted to get over. And guess what? I kind of did.
I'm not a master public speaker, but I've always loved writing, so it's nice to be able to not be afraid to say the words I write out loud. I've improved SO much. I guarantee I started out as one of the worst speakers in that class, but I put a lot of work and time into it because I really cared about getting better at this, and it brought on so much improvement on my level. Being the runner-up for the showcase is really no big deal, because I'm not going to speak at it, but that's okay.
Now I comment in church all the time, I comment in class, I ask questions, I talk to the people around me. I do things now that used to scare me to death. I will be forever ever grateful to my friend who made that comment to me, because now I realize that being a bad public speaker was not something I needed to accept. It's something I changed and can now say that I'm a much better public speaker than I was 6 months ago.
Anyway, this was a long post and I'm not really expecting many to read it, but this blog is kind of like my journal, so I like to record things. I would just like to say that yesterday went recorded as possibly a life top twenty (maybe top ten) day and I feel so happy and proud of myself. Conquer your fears! Follow your dreams! These things are actual possibilities. :)