For starters, I excuse those people who are truly frightened when the thing being volunteered for is some form of public speaking. I understand when people have a fear of this that is worse than their fear of death. I have never really been one of those people, but I do NOT mock or think less of those that are. One of my irrational fears is asking for help in Lowe's or Home Depot. It's not a "guy" thing ... I am just afraid I will sound and look like a complete idiot. Irrational fear, I know, but it is my example of how I can sympathize with those who have a fear of public speaking.
But I digress ... in one of the meetings I had today at work, we were discussing an upcoming event that was going to need a volunteer to represent our group. After sitting in silence for what felt like years (it was probably less than 2 minutes) I finally said "I'll do it!" Mind you, I was ready to say that as soon as volunteers were asked for, but I am not one of those people who refuses to share the opportunities with others. But it gets worse ...
another presentation that needed to be made, this time to our Site Senior Leadership group. One of my good friends Mark volunteered after the obligatory let anyone else raise there hand so I don't look greedy or selfish time period. And then ... we waited ... and waited ... and waited.
I looked at Mark and around the room. No one would make eye contact. I waited a little longer and then I just couldn't take it any more! I said "I'll do it! But if anyone else REALLY wants to, I will gladly bow out."
Cue the crickets chirping in the background.
I just don't understand. This was a group of "leaders" at our site. These are folks that manage teams of 15-20 people every day. I cannot comprehend how there was such a hesitance to step up and take on one of these speaking roles. I know one of my peers is deathly afraid to speak in public (although I have no idea why because she is quite good in front of an audience), so I excuse her. She had also already volunteered to handle a large communication to our site, so I suppose that makes sense. But I just can't believe that the other four people in the room that could volunteer didn't.
Oh well ... I am happy for the opportunity to present and "get my name out there" among some more senior leaders. I am also looking forward to working with Mark on presenting this activity to our senior site leaders. We've worked close together for over a year now, but never really on something jointly with just the two of us ... so it should be lots of fun, but very professional all the same.