Public speaking is one of my biggest weakness. I choose to sit in the back of classroom and avoid raising my hand to dodge such situations. I will go great lengths to avoid making presentation, or even just having to speak at a small group discussion. But then 1 question crossed into my mind, “until when?” I couldn’t be like that forever. Avoiding those things will just make my fear become more chronic and disruptive. I realized the importance of communication, it is the backbone of the society and public speaking simply teaches us how to communicate. It would have an enormous impact in the working world or at some point in our life if I still avoid it. I need to make myself get used to it.
Instead of just lying in my bedroom and wondering about public speaking, I chose to wake up and opened my laptop to find something that can help me to challenge myself. Then I applied for AIESEC’s Global Volunteer project. Just for a general information, AIESEC is one of International Organization that focus on developing youth to strive The Peace of The World based on SDGs by Cultural Exchange. They serve many options of country with various social projects. But any country didn’t matter to me that time since my mission is only to gain my public speaking skill. Shortly, I chose Vietnam as my learning destination, focusing on SDGs no. 3 (Health & Well-Being) to make workshops for Vietnamese’s students & college students.
In this 6 weeks of summer holiday, I met people from different countries as my co-workers, we gathered in Vietnam Youth Icon 13th project to make the weekly workshops about Personality Disorder to gain Self-Awareness of 70 Vietnamese’s students. I repeat, weekly workshops for 70 persons. Speaking in front of 10 of my classmates already got me shaking from head to toe, can you imagine if I have to speak in front of 70 persons that I haven’t met before? Yes, it terrified me. But then, the reason I applied for this project make me stronger. I have to face my fear.
I pushed myself to practice a lot, I tried my best in the 1st workshop, tried to get organized in the 2nd workshop. step by step I learnt to control my heart beat, put my phone away in the performances, learnt the steps to enjoy presentation from my co-workers. I learnt some of the simple tricks. and slowly I got through those situations with less-afraid.
I believe to one of the quotes “practice makes perfect”. Indeed, everything in this world is just all about practicing. I couldn’t say that I am good enough at public speaking after doing this project, but one thing for sure; something is improving. I use this 6 weeks of experience as my stepping-stone to learn for another level of challenging opportunity.
Sometimes in life you find something hard to do, but take a moment to realize that you just didn’t get used to it. Try harder!
The author, Ainun Namira is an Undergraduate student in the Accounting Department International Class of Faculty of Economics and Business Universitas Hasanuddin. Currently, she is enrolled in the 5th semester.