Positive Voice Blog



My Most Embarrassing Public Speaking Experience

At some point, some of us experience the fear of public speaking especially when we have allowed our comfort zones to be our only dwelling place and when we intentionally or unintentionally appear before a crowd, the result may be awful and embarrassing.

Etulanapu (Etuls) Bruce has something to say concerning her most embarrassing public speaking experience and the lessons learned.

Most Embarrasing Moment Pertaining to Public SpeakingEtuls is a student at University of Port Harcourt studying Medicine and surgery.
She has a passion for writing, mostly script writing.

One of the most embarrassing moments in my life was when I represented my secondary school in an inter-school debate competition. I think I was in SS-2 then.

My embarrassing public speaking experience

It was quite a terrible experience and to this day I don’t know how I talked myself into going for that competition.

I had never participated in any competition pertaining to debate before, so it was totally new to me.
That day, I had mounted the stage so fearfully, and held the microphone as if it was heaviest thing in the world; my hands shook terribly no matter how hard I tried to keep them still as my lips twitched uncontrollably.

The words I had carefully prepared in the past two weeks prior to the debate, the ones I was supposed to say left their correct order and scattered in my head like fearful chicks.

I was greatly embarrassed that day, not only because I didn’t get any message across to my audience due to fear but of how they had laughed at me.
After the awful experience, I promised to never put myself in such situations ever again.

Every time I think back on that very day, I hate myself for deciding to try and it makes me want to crawl more into my black hole and shut the world out.

But just recently I have started to appreciate that awful day.
Now, I wish hadn’t retreated after the horrifying experience. I wish I had put myself in more uncomfortable out-of-my-comfort zone situations. So that I will be able to stand in front of a crowd no matter how small or large, hold a microphone like it’s a feather, relax, breathe, and maybe smile a little and say my name without stuttering and deliver my message like it’s the easiest thing in the world.

The thing is, you can’t grow without getting laughed at, mocked, criticized or hurt.


Don’t relax, get confortable and lock up your potentials in a box because you tried to step out of the status quo once or twice and failed.

Progress looks like a bunch of failures, like a bunch of defeats. With every failure or defeat, there are new lessons to be learned but most times we don’t see it because we are so engrossed in the pain of not breaking through.

Every defeat is telling you to keep going. Don’t stop, don’t relent, don’t surrender, don’t quit.

So no matter what happens, please find the inner strength to keep trying even when you’re hurt and bitter, even when it breaks your heart, don’t stop. Don’t give limits to how far you can go.

You need to understand that you can be better. You need to know it and believe it and achieve it.
You can win and you need to know that.

Over to you!

What do you have to say concerning your most embarrassing public speaking experience?


Izuzu Nworgu • October 29, 2017

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  1. Wunebari igakeh October 30, 2017 - 7:54 pm Reply

    Haha yeah i get that feeling because i was a victim too…… But that embarassment is most of the times the stepping stone to kill that fear

    • Izuzu Nworgu November 1, 2017 - 5:48 pm Reply

      That’s right Wunebari! They are stepping stones in disguise.

      Thank you for taking out time to read this.☺?

  2. Joy Healey November 1, 2017 - 6:53 pm Reply


    I can really sympathise with that fear.

    When I was in my early 20s, working at a Uni in the IT support department, some bright spark decided we had to earn our keep by giving a lecture to the undergrads on the operating system of the day.

    You know when speakers have a glass of water close to hand….? Well I was so petrified my “water” was neat gin. I somehow staggered through the event, can’t remember how – and finished about half way through the allotted time. The “powers that be” never asked me to do another one 🙂

    Although I have spoken in public again, I still avoid it like the plague because it terrifies me.

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

  3. Donna Merrill November 2, 2017 - 5:56 pm Reply

    Hi Izuzu,

    My most embarrassing public speaking event was my first many years back. I was giving a lecture on battered women in a city college. I was nervous of course, but once I got on stage, and I started talking, it was easier. Somewhere confidence showed up within me and I suppose it was because I wanted to help women.

    Well, about half way through I noticed some women leaving quickly. I stumbled over my words at that point. Why was I boring them??? I cut the speaking short. I swore I would never do that again at that moment.

    But something happened….I came to find out that they were leaving because they were moved by my lecture and they were calling the battered women hotline.

    Success! Now I cannot stop talking lol.


  4. Taiwo Emayosanlomo November 2, 2017 - 8:19 pm Reply

    Hi Izuzu,
    Thanks for bringing Etuls here to share with us her most embarrassing public speaking experience.
    When I was a teenager, I was always afraid to stand before group of people to share my thoughts.
    However, as time goes on, I started practicing, and giving myself the chance to speak in public. There are times, I would lock myself up in the room alone, stand before the mirror and start speaking to imaginary audience. Now I have mastered the art of speaking to group of people. It is always common to be scared at the beginning of a speech, but as the speech progresses, you will gain the confidence and boldness you need to complete the speech. This works on one condition, knowing your subject or topic very well.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. rachel lavern November 3, 2017 - 8:14 pm Reply

    Fortunately, I have not experienced any embarrassment during any of my public speaking engagements. It is one of those things I am a natural at. Does it frighten me? Heck yes! When you consider that it is man’s greatest fear, this is not surprising.

    Part of the process of presenting well is believing in yourself. Those who go into “battle” fearing that they are going to lose stand a much better chance of failure than those who are equipped and intend to win it.

  6. Elise November 4, 2017 - 4:20 am Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is so helpful to hear of other people’s experiences.

    • Izuzu Nworgu November 4, 2017 - 9:50 am Reply

      Thank you

  7. Edward Thorpe November 4, 2017 - 2:07 pm Reply

    According to the ghouls who gather stats for public fears, fear of public speaking beats out the fear of death. Amazing how we don’t take control of our thoughts, isn’t it?

    Anyway, I can relate to your story because I had similar speaking disasters during my freshman year of college. For passing freshman english, 2 speaking presentations were required. Let’s just say I had to repeat freshman english, not twice, but three times!

    But, as you mentioned, public speaking is rewarding.

    Once I understood that most audiences were pulling for me and felt a need to pass on useful information, I eventually started enjoying ‘getting out front’.

    You’re quite brave to expose yourself publicly as you have in this post. Thank you,

  8. Chery November 5, 2017 - 7:44 pm Reply

    Hey Izuzu! I have not done a whole lot of public speaking, but did have to lead business meetings and little seminars while a bar manger at the local casino! I actually don’t ever remember being embarrassed, I guess I just felt like it was just part of the job!

    Great Share
    Thank You
    Chery :))

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