Thoughts on Forced Public Speaking
Keily Brown
Saturday, January 26, 2019

Thoughts on forced public speaking

In most schools and in college you are usually forced to get up in front of a class and present something, everyone has at least done it once some may really enjoy it and others may be terrified just by the thought of it. High school student Logan Huff is one who absolutely hates speaking out in public. She feels that you should never be forced to do something that most of the population is terrified of. “If you aren't even confident in yourself I find it very hard to even be confident enough to get up in front of the class and present your work,” Logan responds, my own opinion on forced public speaking is I absolutely hate it, I have never been confident enough to stand up confidently and speak in front of a crowd. Being a part of journalism has helped a lot with the fear of talking to others but it is something I myself and many others will always struggle with.

Foreign exchange student Mathiew Josson compares American culture to French culture by saying, “I’m not really forced to do anything other than going to school and study.” I asked both Mathieu and Logan the same questions on being forced to speak in public. Logan thinks school systems shouldn’t be able to force students to get up in front of a class and speak, considering she is someone who stumbles over her words and shakes uncontrollably. Mathieu, on the other hand, can’t really give his opinion on it because he has never been forced to public speak, “I don’t think it would be something I would enjoy doing, though,” says Mathieu.

Whether considered a pro at public speaking or not, there was a point in your life where it would terrify you. “If you are not someone that speaks in front of people on the daily such as a lawyer or a teacher, I would think public speaking would scare you because I know it scares me,” Logan states. “I think I can speak for many people when I say public speaking is one of the hardest things a student or adult will have to do if they are not confident enough in themselves or the work they have put together. I think it’s a mix of how you think people will react to your work and possibly being scared you will be made fun of for stumbling over words or miss pronouncing something wrong, for me, I’m a horrible over-thinker I will overthink everything possible so I definitely hate public speaking with a passion.”

It is an OAS (Oklahoma Academic Standard) for students to demonstrate an ability to speak in various settings. Heavener High School teacher, Mrs. Cruse believes that by not teaching students life lessons such as public speaking we would be doing them a “disservice,” which is completely true. I may not like public speaking but I do think by not teaching us students how to do that it would make it more difficult on us in the future, with job interviews, going into college, or even just simple human interactions.

On the positive side, being forced to speak publicly could make you a stronger person or completely destroy you and your confidence. By putting yourself out there more often I think the nervousness may go away slowly maybe not completely but I'm sure it would get easier over time. And if you are just not willing to even put yourself out there that’s okay also there is nothing wrong with wanting to stay to yourself and not speak in front of crowds, but by forcing yourself to just push through, it may benefit you in the future.

--Keily Brown