I know I'm not alone. Fear of public speaking tops the phobia survey, even above heights, flying, and death. I was forced to face my fear this week.
Okay, so it was a taped interview and not live, but the scary thing is, this interview was being taped for my church--people I care about, people I see every week, people who don't necessarily know I can't string two coherent words together when the pressure's on. To make matters worse, we worship in a movie theater and my interview will play on the big screen. Yeah, I've always wanted to see my face in a 5' by 10' format.
On the other hand, I can't exactly turn down a request from my pastor, now can I? Especially when the options he gives me are "would you like to do a live interview or taped one?" knowing very well I'd rather eat raw snake flesh than speak in front of any group.
Taped it is. I have a full week to dread the event before it takes place and naturally, I wake up with a monumental zit the morning of the interview. They show up at the appointed hour--Allen, our frequent blog friend, is taping and my pastor is asking the questions, which, in all fairness, he did email me beforehand.
I just want to get it over with, the sooner the better, you know? I keep wishing it's twenty minutes later and time to edit the thing down to the two coherent sentences I managed to utter.
But as they set up, they discover someone forgot to bring a tape. I won't say who, but his name starts will Al and ends with len. They have to run to Target to get one. While they're gone, I try to stay busy so I don't get any more nervous.
It doesn't work.
They get back and we finally begin taping. It's going pretty well, I think. My answers might not be revolutionary, but I feel like I might be making sense. Twenty minutes later, it's over, and I'm downright giddy with relief. Woohoo! I survived. Now, if I just come down sick the morning they show it at church, all will be well.
"Uh, Denise . . . " I hear from Allen who's been reviewing the interview with headphones. "Do you have a few minutes more?" he asks.
Come to find out, someone forgot to test the sound before the interview and we need to do the interview over. I am dragged kicking and screaming into another interview.
I can't remember a thing I said the second time, but I'm trying to look at the bright side. If the congregation gets bored, they can always play connect the dots with my pores.