AND GOT PAST MY FEAR OF SPEAKING How I Ruined My Future in Sportscasting October 2018
Did you enjoy the rest of your summer vacation? It’s kind of hard to believe it’s over. I had a great visit to Colorado with my family — a nice way to cap off the season. We had all kinds of fun in the mountains, and Russell and Ruby got to meet their little cousin. It was an excellent time that went by in a flash! Now I’m looking out the window, and the afternoon thunderstorms are about to commence. With fall approaching, we don’t see a lot of change in the weather, but we are fast approaching the holiday season. Halloween will be here before we know it, and we’re going to try and take the little ones down to my wife’s cousin’s home for a Halloween party in Fort Lauderdale.
Thinking about the spooky holiday, nothing used to give me more of the heebie-jeebies than public speaking. Today, it’s integral to my job, and I’ve overcome my fear of it so that I can stand on my feet, put on a suit, and say something that makes sense without getting nervous. But when I was younger, I experienced what felt like the worst public speaking disaster ever. It happened in middle school. At that age, I wanted to be a sports anchor, and to that end in my fledgling career, I was the weather person on our middle school news station. One morning, I was getting ready to cover the weather before the anchors started their portion of the show, and unbeknownst to me, our camera people accidentally switched cameras so that the one on the anchors was on me. The show went live, and right as it did, not knowing the camera was on me, I went to adjust the map. The map fell off the wall, hit me, and knocked me off my chair. I was a deer in the headlights. This whole scene had been broadcasted live to the entire school. For the next week, I endured complete ridicule. It was awful. I thought I would never get through it. Fortunately, my parents gave me some advice that changed my mind. They convinced me that it couldn’t get any worse than that. If I could survive that, I could get through anything. And you know what? They were right. Not long after my failed attempt at weather reporting, we had to give a book report in class and talk for two minutes straight. The report had been looming, and I’d been nervous about it. But after what happened and my parents’ pep talk, something clicked. I probably should have been more terrified, but as I got up in front of the class to give my speech, I no longer felt afraid. Thanks to my parents’ encouragement, my disaster became a learning moment, and it changed the way I thought about failure. Once I got over that, I got past my fear of public speaking.
What’s a fear that you’ve had to overcome?
– Chris Bruce
Ruby loves breakfast while camping!
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