How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking: Personal Narrative Essay

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November 1st, 2019. It’s that time of year: the mock trial is in session! That means case reports, witness statements, exhibits, and everything else we need to form our case in chief. I’ve been doing mock trials for 4 years now, and it’s become more than just some club I do. It’s home.

But things weren’t always this way. Public speaking wasn’t always my strong suit. Before high school, I was a very shy kid. I would avoid interaction with any strangers like the plague. It felt safer to stay inside my head, lost in thought. I hated myself for this. I knew I could be better if I just took a chance.

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So, I did. At the beginning of my freshman year, I joined the mock trial program. I remember dreading going to the first few practices since I knew I would have to do some public speaking eventually. But it wasn't long before I started to feel comfortable in the program. Everyone seemed to understand what I was going through and went out of their way to make me feel welcome. The other freshmen would start conversations with me about the case and my personal life. The seniors would advise me on performing better at public speaking. The coaches encouraged me to talk and become more outgoing. Slowly but surely I began to speak up more and participate in discussions. Public speaking had always been challenging for me, but with everyone’s help, I learned to face my fears and I began to break out of the shell that I had used to hide myself from everyone else. I had left behind my grade school friends, familiar classrooms, and everything else that I had grown up with to start over in a whole new school. In a way, my mock trial teammates and coaches had become a second family.

Weeks turn into months and years. Before I’d known it, I had been doing mock trials for 3 years. My freshman self was a distant memory, and I had finally grown to be an exceptional witness in a mock trial. A sure sign of my growth was an offer to be on our school’s top team, the Empire team. It’s named after the tournament that we would be competing in at Atlanta. This international tournament was my next step, and my team was determined to show the world what we’re made of. Nothing would stop us from taking home that first-place trophy. And we prepared for the entire summer just to ensure that happened. We go through the first 4 trials, and we’re patiently waiting to hear which teams will be playing in the championship round. 3rd place. In a split decision, we had barely missed out on the championship. We were defeated. Our summer’s work was all for nothing. We had failed. But, I don’t believe I failed at all. Not one bit. That 3rd place trophy wasn’t just a trophy. It was my crowning achievement after overcoming my fear of public speaking. It was symbolic of all the things I had done over the past 3 years. It was an award my past self could only dream of getting. It was an absolute victory.

Now, as a senior ready to go to college, when I look back at my freshman year, I'm surprised by how much I have grown as a person in just four years. A lot of that credit belongs to my school’s mock trial program. It helped me believe in my own abilities and overcome my fear of public speaking. Its influence on me didn't end in the mock trial itself. I am no longer the shy, awkward kid I was before I was in grade school. I have changed for the better.

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How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking: Personal Narrative Essay. (2024, February 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from
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