Your brain tells you its absolutely fine, no biggie. You know it’s nothing, it’s just talking. But inside, you’re a nervous wreck. Your heart starts beating faster. Your stomach turns and twists. It’s scary. And when you do start presenting, your voice trembles. The audience hears it. You muster up what remaining courage you have and finish up your contribution session. As you let out a breath of relief, you simulatenous felt like the whole discussion session was shit. You get paranoid over it. Then you calm yourself down by reminding yourself “it’s over. we’ll just do better on the next one”. The next one comes along, the same things repeat itself. But you think you did a tad bit better though it still felt crappy. You mentally pat yourself on the back, “well done, use this to build up your confidence”. You continue to hold onto that hope that one day, you’ll be able to present and talk without people hearing the breaking and stuttering of your voice and the nervousness written across your face. You hope that one day, you’ll be able to think on the spot and offer great ideas and solutions, that you’ll be confident in your opinion and be unafraid of failure or judgement. And about all these stuff that I’ve written? It’s about how the spotlight changes you. It may be a breeze for some or pure terror for others. Just note that at the end of all these ‘shitty’ public speaking sessions, you’ll turn out to be a more confident person your sixteen year old self can’t recognise.