hate speaking in front of groups

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hate speaking in front of groups

Post by KrisF »

My group has a commitment tonight (where the group goes to another AA group and speaks) and I'm one of the speakers. I hate speaking in front of groups, I stumble over my words, i can't make my story cohesive, I'm all over the place and I feel i don't give a good message. My fellow group members say I'm fine but really what are they going to say? Any advice on calming me down and speaking from the heart without screwing up and sounding like an idiot ?
Thanks !
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Re: hate speaking in front of groups

Post by Brock »

Whenever we discuss the subject of whether or not we 'criticize' ourselves, when we think back on what we said in meetings, I always see most around the room nodding. I myself still think sometimes on the drive home of what I should have said, even when everyone clapped loudly at what I did say, you are not alone in thinking you bungle this up. But I certainly don't hate speaking, in fact I look forward to it. Some say we work through the fear of speaking, or we get better at it given time, how about those like yourself who may just prefer to not speak in front of a group at all, I say more power to you, and there is no reason to force yourself to do so.

Bill on page 110 of the 12 & 12 wrote about different types of 12th step work, in one line he says - “There are many opportunities even for those of us who feel unable to speak at meetings...” If he thought to put that in there, I am guessing he met some like yourself who just plain hate it, and he says you don't need to force yourself to do it, I don't think anyone would argue with that.

A plus for me by not speaking as well, is that it's a good way to avoid the ego trip some of us, (myself included), inadvertently go on by thinking how clever we are when we speak in front of groups. It takes stones to admit we are scared of something like this, and I admire you for that, best of luck.
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Re: hate speaking in front of groups

Post by positrac »

I hate to be in front of a group and yet I did public training for years and when I was in that realm I put my game face on and did my job. I learned to look at a spot on the wall and graze the room to show I was engaged with the topic. I did make eye contact and I would also look above the heads of the group as a way to relax.

Make a few notes and speak to those points on the paper and I think you'll be ok. We all face some kind of fears and some have a bigger difficulty than others. For me it was my stomach turned, I would sweat, nervous and just uncomfortable. But I faced that fear everyday like it was my first time and yet I received high makes from other instructors for my methods and how I presented the material.

You've got nothing to lose and at worst you'll never have to speak again at that group. :shock:
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Re: hate speaking in front of groups

Post by Duke »

A couple of things I've done are to have a trial run in your mirror at home. Tell yourself your own story out loud as if your image is your audience. It helps prepare as well as taking a lot of the fear out of it.

When you're there, find a friendly face in the crowd and talk to them. It's usually easier to talk to one person than it is to talk to a whole bunch.

Pause as often as you need. They won't be nearly as long as they feel, and it's a conscious reminder that even if you totally freeze up, it's not the end if the world.

Make some notes and practice it a few times. Nothing helps with fear of public speaking like preparing.

Finally, go easy on yourself. Fear of public speaking is still one of the most common fears among everyone. You're not alone. You'll be okay.
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Re: hate speaking in front of groups

Post by tomsteve »

Any advice on calming me down and speaking from the heart without screwing up and sounding like an idiot ?

calming down...hhhmmm... think I only experienced a little fear a time or 2 before an open talk.
I had to get me some humility- more than likely, I was going to be the only one that remembered I gave an open talk a week later.
I never go into an open talk with any plan other than sharing what it used to be like, what happened, and what its like now.
and not make it a drunkalogue-i talk about the thinking and mention some demons that haunted me for years that I tried to drink away unsuccessfully.
say a prayer beforehand for God to speak through me.
and if I don't pass out, vomit, or drink, then the open talk was good.
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Re: hate speaking in front of groups

Post by Roberth »

Hello KrisF My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area Alcoholic. I never sound as good as I did in the shower. I seem to give my best talks when I ask the group to take a moment with me. Try to clear my head and just tell them my name and tell them the truth aka my story. The big book has pretty good suggestion “Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now.” You notice it doesn’t say “what it was like.”
I have learned I am not really talking to the group but rather the one or two people the needs to hear my story. Also it not what I say that’s important it's what they hear that is.
You’ll do just fine
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Re: hate speaking in front of groups

Post by Peter.H. »

KrisF wrote:... Any advice on calming me down and speaking from the heart without screwing up and sounding like an idiot ?
Thanks !
We in AA admire anybody who shares the truth no matter how it comes out.
We in AA know what its like to be fearful.
We in AA understand the courage it takes to be willing to go to any lengths to recover from alcoholism.
We in AA need others to be like how we are or were.
So it's okay to be afraid of public speaking.

Actually, most of us AA's, in the beginning, got up in front to share after seeing someone else getting up in terror and shared anyway.
"...unless this person can experience an entire psyche change there is very little hope of his recovery" - Dr. Silkworth. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Ed, p xxix.]
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Re: hate speaking in front of groups

Post by kdub720 »

Just be honest. I do not care how well you speak as long as it is honest and from the heart. Do not try and please the people. It is not a comedy act. Good luck. sounds fun.
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