According to the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper, a survey of incoming freshmen revealed that their greatest fear, bigger than nuclear holocaust or the death of their parents, is public speaking. Students possess different personalities; some will embrace the silent nature appropriate for independent work, while others prefer engaging with groups and speaking publicly. To be successful, it is important to overcome this fear, and learn how to perform publicly. Despite different personalities, the opportunities and advantages gained through class presentations are invaluable. The biggest fears surrounding public presentations are ridicule, embarrassment, and failure.
No one enjoys failure. Although students are taught that failure yields success, to fail at accomplishing a task or a goal is horrible. However, in our contemporary society, the public education system has (for a purpose) set up a platform for failure: public speaking. Students are open to numerous opportunities in which they can speak in front of their peers or even perform on a stage through some sort of artistic manner without being humiliated for trying to conquer their fears on stage. These opportunities include class projects, English speeches, or school events such as talent shows.
Failure and embarrassment are hard to avoid; in fact, being in front of an audience is appropriate preparation for the future. Public speaking, choir, band, and drama—classes offered at a typical high school—provide students with an opportunity to perform for others. These classes also encourage students to overcome their fears, to be courageous, and to not regret the mishaps they may commit. Whether or not one gets choked up when speaking in front of class or loves talking in front of their peers, everyone has the opportunity to pursue fearlessness.