I spent all of yesterday at a continuing education seminar. And, much to my chagrin, a lot of it was an interactive seminar. Not so much my style of learning - makes me nervous. :) I spoke up once and earned myself a pin, "Goddess of Gums." I wore it with pride. :)
For the afternoon, we broke up into groups by our profession. There were only five hygienists there. We chose a spokesperson - thankfully not me. Unfortunately, our spokesperson had to leave before the seminar was finished. Somehow, I happened to take her place and share one of our points. Big Mistake. The seminar leader then asked to role play a scenario with me. This was my worst nightmare. So, in a room full of dentists and other professionals, I had to come up with what I would say in this situation (completely off-the-cuff). It was probably only a couple of minutes but it felt like 10. And it went fine but it was torture. Thankfully, I made everyone laugh at the end.
I am not a public speaker - I do it when I have to and it makes me horribly nervous. I accept speaking engagements because I believe it is part of my professional responsibility; however, I am always terrified right before them. Despite my fears, I do still go into schools etc. for presentations. I am getting better - kids are less intimidating than adults. But honestly, I skipped speech in college because I could take interpersonal communication at 7:30 in the morning instead. :)
Perhaps as I've become more introverted, my comfort level has changed. Whatever the case, I survived the continuing ed.