I haven’t stood up in front of a group of people for a while. In the past, I’ve been a music teacher, run adult courses and given live radio and TV interviews – and they were all fairly terrifying. But I’m not ashamed of my fear. I think it’s common and understandable.
The one big difference between writing and speaking is that writing has its own neat get-out clause. If you make a mistake or you hesitate, you put all the words down back to front or you tail off - no one knows a thing about it. You go back and change it, polish it, wipe it out altogether - and in the end you have a neat finished product. No one gets to see the early drafts, the flawed attempts, the rewrites and rounds of editing. But speaking is all ‘out there’; it’s immediate for everyone to hear and you can’t press delete.
I love words, but I need time to choose the right ones and put them together in the right order!
I love words but I can never think fast enough under pressure to say what I really mean. I need time.
I’m an Introvert and that’s how we are. We need time to reflect before we speak; space to process what a question means and what our answer will be. Extroverts are the opposite – they work out what they’re trying to say as they go along; they often speak before they’ve thought things through. They’re far more spontaneous, but can sometimes put their foot in it. Whereas Introverts can end up looking tongue-tied and a bit lost…