Speech Anxiety and Opportunity

Speech Anxiety and opportunity, the fear of public speaking and the importance of seizing every opportunity are celebrated in Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself”.

Last summer I was driving somewhere with my family, and Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself,” came on the radio. My wife Fleur, after the song concluded said, “That song describes the experience of delivering a speech (the fear of public speaking), and the speech anxiety a speaker experiences before a presentation; and how every time you get to perform (in our case public speaking), it is an opportunity to be seized!”

At Los Angeles Valley College, the center of the San Fernando Valley, and Los Angeles County, the student body is the most diverse to be found anywhere in the world. Not only is the large population full of wonderfully talented people from all over the world, but the community is comprised of individuals that seem to have a larger than most share of challenges to negotiate. Many, if not most of my students come from broken homes, impoverished backgrounds, academic and social challenges, and even have fled from homelands that would never provide them with true opportunity to advance their lives. According to Wikipedia, Eminem’s life narrative is like many of my students, Marshall Bruce Mathers III was born on October 17, 1972, AKA Eminem, came from a fatherless home, he was raised by an abusive mostly absent mom, he was a bullied loner. His mother would move them from home to home, often in African American neighborhoods where he would routinely be beaten up. He spent three years in the ninth grade because of truancy, and finally dropped out of school at the age of 17. His saving grace was story telling. He loved to tell stories. After discovering hip hop, he discovered how to tell his stories with a beat. However, it was a struggle to succeed in a predominantly black industry, but Eminem would eventually earn approval of underground hip hop audiences…. Eminem went onto become the best-selling artist of the 2000s in the United States. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him 83rd on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and declared him The King of Hip Hop.

So, how does this all relate to public speaking, the speech anxiety (AKA the fear of pubic speaking), and the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way…? That is what the song, “Lose Yourself,” is about. Consider the very clear and detailed narrative that plays out in Eminem’s Lose Yourself video, and how speech anxiety and opportunity both enter the lives of everyone at some point. Some people step up and do what needs to be done, but most don’t. Speech anxiety, the fear of public speaking, is the number one fear in life; second, is the fear of speaking about death (the doctor, police officer, or firefighter who has to tell someone they have lost a loved one); and third is actually dying. So, most people avoid speech anxiety by avoiding speech! This is a great opportunity lost!

Every time YOU accept the opportunity to speak four things happen:

1) YOU are heard!

2) YOU become a stronger person, because you are combatting the number one fear in life – speech anxiety!

3) YOU become a stronger speaker, because you have embraced the number one fear in life – given a speech! And every time your speak thereafter, you improve.

4) YOU are sharpening YOUR number one skill-set for life. Pubic speaking is intellectually empowering, socially empowering, professionally empowering, financially empowering, and politically empowering.

I hope you find Eminem’s video as encouraging, and inspiring as I do. And don’t let speech anxiety prevent you from seizing any opportunities that you are blessed with.


I’m speech coach Duane Smith. I have served groups and individuals in the corporate and academic areas develop and improve their public speaking skills. I'm also a tenured public speaking professor at Los Angeles Valley College.

116 Comments on “Speech Anxiety and Opportunity

  1. “Don’t lose yourself in anxiety”

    Seeing that public speaking is the number one fear in life, I could imagine a good amount of people having to deliver a speech having speech anxiety. It should be to no surprise to us having finished communications 101, and not only hearing but reading about all of the people that have been unprepared with anxiety or nervous with the anxiety, but through “Empowering Speech” we also read a few ways to actively manage your anxiety. One major factor being to just do it! There is no way that you will get over the fear of public speaking if you don’t try it out! Eminem’s song Lose Yourself accurately describes the ongoing problem that people with speech anxiety have. 8 Mile, for those of you who haven’t seen it, is a semi-biographical drama film about Eminem, the problems he faced to get to where he is today, and what he did to overcome them. You can see all throughout the movie the anxiety and stress that he felt before going on stage and rapping in front of crowds, but he became successful and he grew from his anxiety because he knew that he had it and he worked at it. You won’t overcome your fears if you never do them! We should all try to listen to “Lose Yourself” and be inspired by it! I really enjoyed this article because it related a really cool artist with speech, and somebody that the people around our community can relate with heavily. So we can see that people that rose to fame, that are so much like us, get nervous too. So it’s really just a people thing! My sister used to play the song Lose Yourself every day and night, and though she has calmed down with playing it every second of the day she still does every once in a while so I laughed when I began reading this article just because I know the song by heart.

  2. The slums of opportunity

    This article introduces a compelling topic where many kids can relate. Not only from poor areas but rich ones. The topic of how to lose yourself can bring out something you know you never had. I did not know that speech anxiety is the number one fear in life and second is the fear of speaking about death, than dying itself. That once you finally forget all the factors of speaking and finally just do it, you are not different than you think. That even someone of different skin, poverty, and abuse cant reach out and pull a mass of followers to listeners. The topic is also good to show that someone who also had obstacles in school and someone who is very good at doing a craft still everyday have to overcome this fear of speaking and performing. It is very informative on how you speak and accept it, you become stronger and sharpen your skills and combated your fear.-161

    The article about a music video was the perfect choice. A white, poor, man with little education can speak. Music is a vase outlet for many teens and adults. It is a way to express your self and lose yourself. If by any means use music to help you speak out. The article then grace break down that we are not different from any other part of the world, we live in a very diverse area and if we just lose the anxiety and have a great presentation that the sky is not the limit. From our area to being declared the king of something is and praised on magazines. Taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way is important. Lastly this article takes great advantage of giving you the keys to success. When you accept to speak you are heard, you become stronger, you are sharpened and do not let speech anxiety seize you up. Just tell a story or something that is comfortable to you and don’t let you talent go to waste.-176

  3. “Can Speech Anxiety Really be Correlated with the Rapper Eminem?”

    Speech anxiety is not unusual to have during public speaking. I really strongly believe some people can overcome speech anxiety by just doing it. I really do see how Eminem and Speech Anxiety correlate if you have ever watch the movie 8 miles starring yours truly Eminem. You can really see what he goes through to finally get the courage to rap in front of an audience. He actually got anxiety before going up to performance when he was starting to rap, he would get all sweaty and had the urge to throw up or did throw up. This song just sums up the whole movie. He actually did this many times before he overcame his fear of being in front of audience. I understand, it really is a nerve wrecking to go up in front of an audience, til this day I think I have done over 50 speeches in front of a classroom and I still have not mastered it. In my head, I’m thinking about my flaws and possible mistakes. While I shouldn’t be doing that because it shows how I lack confident in myself. Well I just need to be really inspired by Eminem and “not lose myself” during a performance.

    This article was probably one of my favorite. Only because I have always thought Eminem was such a great poet and so relate-able to my life. His song always made me think and some of them make him look crazy. Now that I have actually listen to song “Lose Yourself” after hundreds of time listening to it, I really can see how it can be about Speech Anxiety and opportunities. I think I have had the same experience as him, like I how I have actually choked during a speech and cried because no sound could came out of my mouth. Not a pleasant memory. That was my first speech ever in middle school, I feel like I have come a long way maybe not exactly where I want to be, because I still need to fine my opportunity to give a speech without having to deal with speech anxiety. I really need to seize a time because thats how I will someday be able to succeed in life and be heard.

  4. “I can rap this song verbatim”
    The topic of stress and anxiety is a topic I am very familiar with. I am considered a very social person. Some would say I am very extroverted. What many do not know is that I suffer from social anxiety. I get very anxious in new environments with new people and the first day of classes I get extremely nervous. When sharing this with others I get asked the question often “Do you care what other’s think about you? Cause if you do why do you? Strangers opinions don’t matter” I easily want to respond NO! I don’t’ care I don’t mind being judged but, at the end of the day I do care. I care if I left a good impression of myself and I care because I know who I am and I know how my parents raised me. I always want that to come across when I interact with someone. Public speaking was not something new to me either. My father always would make me speak in front of our martial arts classes and address the other students I became more comfortable with this because these students were my friends. Whenever I would in front of a new group my stomach would be in knots. This article was great! I never saw that song in that light. I always knew it was about him battling it out in a rap battle in front of others but, seeing it as a public speaking anxiety song is amazing. He’s worried about how he sounds, what people will think. How he is puking with stress. It’s a great example. If any of you haven’t seen “8 Mile” go see it. It shows a little with what Eminem had to deal with and he does a really good acting performance. The song is featured in the film as well. I have to admit that this song has been my karaoke choice a time or two.

  5. “He opens his mouth but the words won’t come out, he choking how, everybody’s joking now, the clocks run out, times up, over, blow!” In my opinion this is the real reason speech anxiety even exists. It’s not the actually speech that everybody fears, it’s the audiences reaction to the speech is what we really fear. Which is why speaking to a class full of adult students is much less fearful than speaking to a classroom full of elementary students, who lack compassion and a certain level of conviction. The video also relates to public speaking in that Eminem says “the beat goes on” while your going through your ups and downs the world keeps going. Moreover, it’s not the end of the world if we mess up in a speech, the world and the people in it will keep moving forward and Eminem gave some inspiration in saying, do the best you can and don’t kill yourself if it’s not perfect. The last way the video relates to public speaking is when Eminem says I’ve been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage but I KEPT rhyming”. Eminem presents an attitude of perseverance and grittiness here. In public speaking you must stay strong and persevere through the idea of failure and rejection. In addition, your reasons for speaking publicly must be stronger than any fear you could face.

  6. “Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy”
    One of the best lines in the song, i do have to admit though, this is exactly how i felt when i was even thinking about public speaking. I took speech class once before and couldn’t stand up to the plate. Soon after that, realizing a business major should have at least some public speaking skills. I am now retaking the class and fought my speech anxiety. I gotta say, i’ve never felt better about public speaking than I do now. I watched a TED talk video that said anxiety and stress is actually good for you because this is your body getting you ready, in this case to speak publicly. The only problem is you have to let anxiety and stress help you, as oppose to letting it control you, like i have. One way to do that is to look at public speaking as an opportunity.
    I have a feeling that this probably going to be one of my favorite articles just because i can relate to it. Growing up in one of the biggest melting pots in America i’m sure you’ve seen and heard more than i can imagine, especially the fact that you are teaching people how to overcome one of their biggest fears. The opportunity to speak should be looked at as a privilege that we should always take advantage of. This song was based on the movie 8 Mile and if you’ve ever seen the movie, you see Eminem struggling with anxiety to perform, choking at his first performance. He was also struggling with multiple things besides that, but throughout the movie you also understand that he learns to use many of his disadvantages to his benefit and finds performing a way out of the tough life he has, which is fairly relevant to a person struggling to speak publicly.

  7. PASS THE ATIVAN, I’m nervous!
    I believe that stories like these, of the underdog, are so capturing that you wish it cold happen to everyone. Watching his docu-drama “8 Mile” was very eye opening, and put to screen what stage fright does to artists. Fear of public speaking is exactly like stage fright to artists, and happen more often than most people think. The popular American Idol contestants battle with stage fright constantly. But as the article spells out, every time they accept the opportunity to combat that fear of getting up on that stage, they become stronger and sharpen their skills.
    I have had many opportunities to speak in front of colleages, led group projects, teach a small class, and while it does get easier, standing up in front of strangers and being able to perform without the inevitable “uh”, “umm”, and other utterances while speaking still gives me the butterflies. The fact that Marshall Mathers was able to succeed in a genre like hip hop is one to be cherished, as breaking into different markets is very hard for minorities.

    The article actually helped me correlate karaoke singing with public speaking, via stage fright. I come from a family of singers, but singing at home in front of family members is easy. It was only until my husband took me to my first karaoke bar did I honestly feel the anxiety of getting up on that microphone and sell my skills to the would be audience. The article also spells out to me that no matter what obstacles you encounter in life, the snap back to reality is that no one can help you gain determination and motivation if you yourself don’t possess it. You must have the fortitude to want to, at all costs, be the person who comes out on top. You need to lose yourself in getting better, you only get one shot in life to do it.

  8. Harnessing an opportunity
    You can do anything you really set your mind to do, is just a matter of willpower and self discipline. Is just amazing how this song by Eminem could relate to public speaking. As human beings we desire to maintain our personal comfort zone, afraid to come out of our shell and try new things but whenever we speak in public it gives us an opportunity to communicate our message to many people at once and be heard. We gets empowered and build our confidence when we speak, though speaking in public comes with its anxiety but it gives one an opportunity to make a good impression. Risk taking doesn’t guarantee that one will attain his/her desired result however we must optimize our chances of succeeding when an opportunity comes our way.
    I think this article is educative and shows that opportunity utilization is very important, the speech class gives us an opportunity to work on our skill set to overcome public speaking anxiety. Every great speaker started out as a poor one, what made them a success was their willingness to take a chance, try again and view every opportunity as a learning experience to becoming great. Speaking in public represent another opportunity to grow and achieve success and every time we speak and improve, its a boost of confidence as our list of opportunities expands. When one is presented with a chance to do something i believe that it is imperative to seize it because it may not be available again.

    • I thought the same thing when I read this article! What an amazing interpretation to the song. Because, when you listen to it verse by verse it completely relates to public speaking. Life is definitely all about comfort zones. That’s why it’s so hard for people to move or even leave a bad relationship because that’s what they know and they are comfortable. Public speaking relates to so many things in life. Breaking out of your shell and doing something that will benefit you. I like how you mentioned everyone starts somewhere. It’s so true. You can only get better with practice and perseverance. This article was definitely one of my favorites.

  9. “He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out”
    This article is inspirational and can be very relatable to students that can relate to Eminem. Eminem is one of the most well knows successful rappers today. He grew up in dangerous neighborhood, constantly got picked because he was a minority in where he lived, and the only escape he had was his music. His rapping was his escape, he told stories with his raps, and to be honest they are more like poems in a sense. Who would be able to hear his story and understand where he comes from if there is no one to hear them? That’s when Eminem started to succeed and prove everyone in his society wrong. He grew from being the minority little boy getting picked on to one of the most successful rappers in the world. No one will be able to understand what you are going through or went through if your voice is not heard. No one will be able to understand your opinions and your thoughts and views on certain situations and events if your voice is not heard. That is why public speaking is a big part of this song. Public speaking and chasing after your dreams. “Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment, would you capture it, or let it slip?” This is one of my favorite lines from his song, because this can mean so many different things in so many different situations. Going from school, to work, to presentations, to music, and so on this one quote pretty much summed up his whole song. Eminem’s strength, determination, his drive for success is what got him to where he is today. He made sure his voice was heard and that he would not stop until he reached his goal and his dreams. And the only way he would be able to do that was to get through his public speaking fears and perform in front of an audience. Once the hardest thing was out of the way, he would only then succeed.

    • Eminem appears to be a motivational rapper to his fans but at the same time i do not buy into the notion that growing up as a minority in a particular neighborhood automatically makes you a victim of bullying. Event in ones life usually makes one stronger and most people are likely to share events that happen in their lives, in Eminem’s case rap music. His persistence and drive are some of the characteristics that made him what he is today, to set a goal for the future is the easiest thing to do but the attainment of a worthwhile goal is a rewarding accomplishment.

  10. Results for Loosing Anxiety

    What are your thoughts on the topic? What did you think of the article?
     Eminem is truly an incredible artist that has influenced a lot of individuals today as well as other artists. We tend to get nervous throughout many performances and presentations us as humans face. Behind every troubled individual is anxiety as the video helps us realize there are tools we can work on to reduce the amount of anxiety we all face. I tend to get nervous and have a hard time getting the words out when I speak in front of the class and speaking to my supervisor. Furthermore, it is best to get comfortable and to know your audience and to get the attention from others. When you have the floor and the audience attention and spotlight is on you the anxiety level you have is a factor.
     Performances include individuals that are prepared and those that rush into it to get it over with without being detailed and professional. The article included that speech is number one fear for many individuals. Public speaking is nerve racking and especially in front of a big crowed. This video and article helps you remain calm and be yourself. For individuals they should now be afraid to speak. If you have a voice you should take advantage of it and speak your mind.

    • Elias_Musallam
      I agree with you that Eminem is an amazing and such a talented artist. He definitely has influenced millions worldwide with just his music and I believe that is such a strong aspect about him. How he became so successful from being so poor to now being one of the most successful artists in the world. I agree that we do get nervous with presentations and speeches but there are always resources we can use to better ourselves and reduce our nervousness and anxiety levels. This performance/ video portrays the most common fears of public speaking written all over his lyrics, but even acknowledging those fears Eminem got through it through his love for music and rap.

    • I agree with you that Eminem is an amazing and such a talented artist. He definitely has influenced millions worldwide with just his music and I believe that is such a strong aspect about him. How he became so successful from being so poor to now being one of the most successful artists in the world. I agree that we do get nervous with presentations and speeches but there are always resources we can use to better ourselves and reduce our nervousness and anxiety levels. This performance/ video portrays the most common fears of public speaking written all over his lyrics, but even acknowledging those fears Eminem got through it through his love for music and rap.

  11. Eminem’s Rhymes

    When I first heard this song, I believed it was about losing yourself, getting more comfortable, and forgetting to impress others by pretending. Just being yourself is what I thought Eminem’s reason for this video was. But when I start to listen more to the lyrics it literally describes everything I feel when doing a presentation, as in palms are sweaty, arms are heavy, and nervous. I try to play it cool and on the surface act like I am ready, when all I really would like to do is go home and curl up in a ball. At my job we do a lot of legal paper work, so we all must explain it the same way and in the same detail. I remember the first couple times of having to do a loan explaining the paper work was hard, and even harder when you knew the office was listening to make sure you got it right. I would open my mouth and feel nothing coming out. Eminem mentioned this in the song. I have been with my company almost 2 years and the terms we must use are constantly updating and changing. But once you learn it everything gets easier and you can get more comfortable with not only the different audiences, but yourself! I guess you never think other people have the same problems you have, especially celebrities. I took speech class in one of my later semesters at Valley College, because I honestly did not know if I could hang. I have always liked Eminem and his music. In his movies 8 Mile, I always felt like I could relate. I grew up in a neighborhood where I usually am the only white friend people have and I was raised without my biological father around. Eminem took advantage of all his opportunities throughout the struggle, and is an inspiration to all of us to do better than what we are given.
    This was a cool assignment. I did not know that much about Eminem. When I first saw this article I was very confused to see Eminem’s video in the mix of political videos about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders presidential debate, and paralyzed Eric Sorto’s implanted chips to move a robot’s arm was in the basically assignment. When I read more into the topic I could see the reason for the comparison. Eminem’s strength, not only with the day to day struggles a white man had to endure living in a primarily African American neighborhood, but his strength to overcome the world’s number one fear of public speaking is gold. Before this class I was always envious of the individuals that had enough confidence to be a public speaker, but never thought of their talent as strength. But the more I read this article, or think of how I feel of about going on stage to do a presentation, the more I agree that you do become a strong person to face the number one fear in life: public speaking. Public speaking can also be intellectually empowering because I think whenever I have a speech to give I want to have amazing grammar and say what I would think would be “smart words”. I greatly believe it can be financially empowering also by just listening to the experiences Professor Smith has had. Overall I believe the power of speech can do great things for people and I will be the first to admit I should definitely increase the times I volunteer for an opportunity to make a speech. But at the same time, takes a lot of practice. I am sure Eminem did not just receive his talent and ranked 83rd on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artist of All Time after a good night sleep, I’m sure it took blood, sweat, and tears.

    • Haylee_Vaughn
      I could not agree with you more that this song was really relatable to my life no matter what I was doing. Whether it was preparing for a test, or a presentation, or an interview for work, it all tied in with this song in some sort of way. Eminem came from such a rough background and this song describes him so well, in everything he has done and how far he’s come I believe that this song will always portray him in some way or another. This also relates immensely on public speaking, like you said, and I agree with you on that statement. How in public speaking you can just go bank once you hit the stage.

  12. I remember being shown Eminem’s music video in class and at first I was so confused on why Professor Smith was showing us this. Then, the lyrics made so much more sense. It’s funny how a rap song can relate to giving a speech. Never would I have related one of his songs to giving a speech. You really do only get one shot to show the audience what you have been preparing for. You could be the most timid person in class but once its your turn to present, a difference person comes out and it’s your time to shine. The presenter has so much power within those few minutes of speaking and they deserve to be heard because they are in control. I will definetly use this song as a motivation or as a prep song before any other speeches in the future!

    • When Professor Smith made the connection to speaking in public speaking and Eminem’s “Lose Control” music video I was a bit lost. I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I heard this song for the first time, not watching the 8 Mile movie, I honestly thought it was about fighting. But when I listened more to the lyrics I could really see the comparison between the two. I feel like I should start listening to this song before a speech. I enjoy Eminem’s story and the movie was also a great film! It’s no wonder he was ranked 89th on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artist of All Time.

    • You are right about Eminem music as it relates to speech.He made use of his talent when necessary to deliver his stye of music.He certainly came ready,and was able to capture an audience that may have been friendly or hostile. Courage was key as he delivers with confidence.My car sales person years ago got my business because he listened to my concerns and was able to recommend my car of choice. Knowing your audience was also key.Enimen being a minority in his music world knew how to develop his style to capture the majority.

    • Eminem as a rapper in general goes through multiple emotions in many of his songs, I was looking through this blog and wondered why Professor Smith would put an Eminem rap song and write an article but it all made sense after. I have heard this song hundreds of times and never ever would it have crossed my mind to relate it to public speaking, anxiety, and opportunity. This is not a complaint though, it’s a good thing that Professor Smith uses influences from this decade to bond with the students as oppose to many other professors who will show you material from hundres of years ago.

  13. It is funny how a childhood song that I did not know the meaning of has so much power on my life at the present moment. It is more than just a catchy tune and some really fast talking. Listening to it again, I almost feel like the speed the song goes to a very similar speed of my thoughts and anxiety when I am trying to prepare for my public speeches. It is a refreshing feeling once you give your performance because as stated on the list, you get a lot out of just simply speaking in public. I’m actually ready for any speech that I have coming in life. I have had a lot of setbacks because of the fear of speaking and being fairly introverted.

    • Your post is inspiring! I also think it is funny that this song had so much meaning! When I was growing up this song was very popular, but I always thought it was about fighting. I think that about a lot of music when I listen to it now as a “grown up”; the meaning behind music is not just amusing but relatable. I always have enjoyed rap, like artist J. Cole, because songs they have a story to tell, other than most songs on the radio about gang violence and sex. I like your confidence for any speech you may have and your setbacks have done good things for your future.

  14. I think that a good public speaker will improve his or her chances of engaging his audience if he or she gauges the audience and its interests before the address. It is important to observe the audience and learn more about it, as well as adjust the style of the presentation on this basis. Some audiences may react well to humor, and some may not. So if the speaker is planning to be funny, he has to make sure that his jokes are in good taste, appropriate and non-controversial. If they fall flat, perhaps it’s time to take a more serious approach. Some audiences are more informal, and some more conservative. It may be interesting to engage the audience in a question and answer section rather than deliver a lecture. As for being nervous, my advice would be to focus on one or two supportive faces in the audience, those who react positively and send you “positive energy”. This will give you the confidence you need to deliver your address.

    • I agree that you must address your audience and try to get as much info as possible about them so you don’t seem biast and you have an idea of what they are looking for so you don’t get booed of stage. In the movie 8 Mile, which the song is based off. Eminem did a lot of relating to his audience and trying to make his freestyle adapt against what his opponent had to say. As a public speaker, you should be able to sense what the audiences want, or at least professionals will do this a lot better. Practice makes perfect is a great saying to keep in mind.

  15. This is so cool! I loved when we got to see this video in class because it had been so long since I’d seen it and never imagined it would relate to this class. The lyrics do fit perfectly about “losing yourself.” What I find intriguing is how this song struck a chord (no pun intended) with so many millions of people around the world. It was a gigantic hit, so clearly, its message was resonating with people on a global level. I love discovering things like this where you see how certain themes are truly universal. I have made my living as a performer for many years and have had the great fortune of truly “losing myself” in performances and that’s always the most exciting place to be, not to mention the most effective in connecting an audience to whatever material you’re performing.

  16. I love this concept and it really made me realize the power in having “the floor.” It inspired me to use my moments speaking wisely, to actually use my time to be of influence, and to help others in any volume of speaking to an audience. Sometimes we are so consumed with the demands of school that we don’t step outside of it and see the beauty of it. School is a very special opportunity and like anything else, it’s about what you make of it. It takes effort, I realized this after seeing this example. Now, every time I get a chance to speak, I do my best to prepare and make it worth while. When you focus less on what people are thinking about you and your image, and focus more on the opportunity, the goal, and the message you relieve yourself of so much unnecessary stress and anxiety. I’m thankful for this and I practice what I took from it everyday.

  17. I enjoyed hearing the similarities of the song to the idea of it representing giving a speech. It is interesting to the idea resounding in my head as an opportunity and the ability to give a performance. The idea of being so passionate about a subject, to lose myself in the moment. My job requires me to observe others and predicts what their actions will be. When I stand up in front of a crowd, I sometimes get lost in the automatic response of what the audience must be thinking. It would be great to not get distracted and lose myself in the moment of the topic of my speech instead.

  18. It is cliche, but this is all about what doesn’t kill you making you stronger. People who go through hardship like Eminem and many of the students at Los Angeles Valley College who are able to rise about the hardship are only stronger in the end for it. As much as public speaking is tough and scary, if you can get through doing it the first couple of times, it gets easier and easier. Being able to speak to people and communicate a message is one of the most valuable skills that you can posses. I have learned a lot this semester about speaking and I think I have definitely gotten more comfortable in front of an audience even though at the beginning of the semester it terrified me. It is all about pushing yourself through what is challenging to get to the next level.

  19. Eminem is a poet and uses words to get his message to other people. I can’t imagine him having any sort of doubt in front of anyone. This song basically is saying you have your chance and you should take it. Conquer that moment and be excited, not nervous that its your time to shine. One of the greatest songs for me and always inspired me. Gym session music for sure. I always applied the lyrics to what I was trying to succeed in at the time, but can easily be applied to public speaking or for that matter any moment that gives you an opportunity. Giving speeches is scary and its easy to buckle under that pressure, but what this song is saying is that this is your moment you can’t buckle or else you wont ever have another chance. This in a way is true. People judge you fairly quickly and the wrong impression can alter their perception of your or your subject.

    • David, I totally agree, this song can motivate you in whatever situation that you are in because the lyrics are so powerful and come from such a real place. Public speaking is frightening at first, but when you overcome that fear you feel so empowered. You are never guaranteed a second change to succeed in life, so you have to make sure that when you have the opportunity to do something great, you seize the moment.

  20. My father used to always tell me that rap songs don’t have value and don’t relate to life because most people rap about money, girls, and more money. When you said in class that there is a song on the radio that relates to speech I was confused, and to make it more confusing was that it is an Eminem song. Listening to the lyrics actually made sense and not only in speech you only get one chance, in life as well and you do not want to miss your chance to do well. I honestly was surprised that this song relates to a class because I thought of it just as another rap song with no meaning until you told us to pay attention to the lyrics and put the pieces together.

    • It’s hilarious your father had that point of view on rap songs because my mother is the same exact way! Yes, I will admit some rap songs really have no value and are just for the beat, girls and money but surprisingly there are numerous rap songs that tell a story of the hardships they have dealt with. Sitting down and listening to the lyrics or even searching up the lyrics really gives you a different perspective and can allow you to relate it to your daily life.

  21. I remember when you first told us the story about you wife noticing how the words in Eminem’s song connect to the Public Speaking, and then you showed us the video. Even though this was not my first time listening to this particular song, it felt like I am listening to it the first time. This can actually be explained by the fact that when I am listening to the song, I almost never listen to the words separately. I found it exciting and surprising to find such a strong connection between the Eminem’s song and one’s feelings and experience before and during giving the speech!

    • I agree, it was a surprise for me too to hear this song and discover that there are a lot of parallels with public speaking. I found the lyrics particularly powerful and inspiring.

  22. In class when you told us you where going to show us a video from Eminem and gave us the background about it. My first thought was what song can possibly be of public speaking. After watching the video he sends a great message about public speaking, and when it came on the radio a few days after I had to turn the volume up so I can listen to it again, even if I heard it millions of times before I never knew that was the message it was giving. Its amazing to hear stories on how people grow up in not so good situations but manage to put their fears aside and keep moving towards their dreams.

  23. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is probably my all time favorite song to workout to. It pumps me up. The song is all about capturing the moments in front of you. With speech, people often view it as something we have to do. I catch myself saying, “I have to give a speech tomorrow,” instead of saying, “I get to give a speech tomorrow.” Sometimes we dread standing up in front of others and speaking our mind because we are fearful. We are fearful of how we might appear to others and what they might think of us. We get nervous that we will make a mistake and embarrass ourselves, or maybe not do as well as we intended. Having everyone’s eyes on you is intimidating. All of these factors contribute to why public speaking is the number one fear in life, but we don’t have to let that control us. We are given a voice so that it can be heard. Every time we give a speech we can give something to someone, whether it is inspiration, knowledge, insight, or a good laugh. We have the ability to express ourselves through words and potentially influence other’s ways of thinking based on what we think and feel. The lyrics in Eminem’s song that I think most relate to this class are:
    “He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs,
    But he keeps on forgetting what he wrote down,
    The whole crowd goes so loud
    He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out
    He’s choking how, everybody’s joking now
    The clock’s run out, time’s up, over, blow!”
    Sometimes we do let our nerves get the best of us and we “Choke.” But if we seize the opportunities given to us, and remain calm, we can get “everything we’ve ever dreamed of.”

  24. Practice, practice, practice! One important take away I’m walking away from with this class, and with Eminem’s lyrics is to seize every opportunity to be heard. There is no other way to refine your craft that having as many opportunities to practice it for an audience. Ultimately, refining one’s ability for public speaking grooms a person to take on challenges in his/her education and career. I really take to heart that public speaking is ultimately one of the most valuable experience one can have – and it can’t happen without tamping down nervousness and anxieties as you take on the stage and present to an audience.

    • Ann,

      I totally agree with you that public speaking is a valuable experience for anyone to have. There will be many important times in our lives that we will have to stand up in front of others and talk about something, and practicing that now will only make it easier for the future. We all come from such different backgrounds and cultures, but one thing that is the same for all of us in class is that we have a voice. We can say whatever we want and make a difference with our own thoughts and opinions, which some countries don’t allow. We should be grateful to be given the opportunity to speak even though nerves and anxiety can sometimes make it a difficult task.

    • I would agree that practice is everything! The more you practice, the better you get, and the amazing thing about it is that there is no limits; that means that everything is possible just with the right thoughts, motivation, and practice! I think that this nervousness and anxiety we experience with the right management would only give you drive to do better, and it is cool!

    • I agree the opportunity to speak is what is being preached, although scary sometimes, its your chance to take center stage and seize your moment. You are right as far as conquering public speaking. I am one of those naturally confident people and I have this confidence when it comes to most things, but when I stand in front of an audience I seem to shrink. If I can master this process almost every other skill set an individual can posses will seem attainable to me and confidence will be a constant regardless the situation.

    • I agree that “practice makes perfect.” To be a successful public speaker you need to gain confidence by speaking as often as possible in front of your classmates, coworkers and friends. This class is helping me get more confidence and better manage stress.

  25. Honestly I have never thought that Loose Yourself could be related to public speaking. I love to work out to this song. This song is one I listen to when I am close to being done with my sets or workout. When I am tired and want to just leave the gym. It is that go to song to make me push through. Now, I hear this song and I do see how it relates to public speaking. Public speaking is like working out. when you get tired or scared even anxious, you can listen to this song and push through. It is kind of like a mantra. Loose Yourself in everything you do. Own it. Make it yours until the very end. Public speaking can make or break someone like the last set in your workout. You can be the person to give up when you are shaking or blast through at the very end.

    • I think everyone was surprised to hear that this song had to do anything with public speaking. It sends out a great message after you realize that it goes with public speaking. He is such a great singer and know when I listen to this song I love to listen it word by word because I love the message he gives. I agree with you public speaking can make or break someone

    • I can relate to you Sarah. This song motivates people to push themselves harder to limits they have never reached. Just when you are about to quit what you are doing this song gives so much energy that you just want to get back up and just power through different things.

  26. When i fist heard Eminem’s song, “lose control” I didn’t put much thought into the lyrics. Throughout my life i have had trouble making public speeches, Eminem portrays the emotions and situations a person is in when they have to speak infront of a crowd. I have had some of the same experiences, my palms would get sweaty, i would feel a great weight on my shoulders, and my heart would race even when some people do all the research they can and practice their speeches over and over again, it still doesn’t fully help them to get over the fear of public speaking, omce they stare up at the audience, the fear comes rushing back into them. The fear of others starring at them and judging them on their presentation.

    • I haven’t thought about this song being about speech anxiety. But you are right he is conveying the emotions of someone getting ready to speak in front of a crowd. His palms are sweaty and knees weak are some of the symptoms that happen to people that are getting ready to speak in front of a crowd. That is pretty crazy because i thought eminem was just rapping about his life struggles and if he messes up he could loose it all. but that is the same with public speaking, if you fail once then your credibility is over at that point.

    • Jeez, this happens to me too. But, I can say it happens less now that I have done a speech I feel confident about. I did a speech on dieting, and I am very familiar with the content as it is something that I have practiced many years, and I it was extremely invigorating. Sometimes you need validation that you are actually good at something to do it with confidence. I know that you too will overcome your fears of public speaking!

  27. Eminems song “Lose Yourself” is a perfect example of speech anxiety. From going up on stage, to thinking that people won’t vibe with you, to hoping they like you, and how giving up is not an option. I have been a student for 3 years going into my 4th year and I have received my AA degree in Biological Sciences. I went through every class but decided early on that I will save speech class for last for fear of public speaking. Today I truly regret having saved this class for last because I am quickly realizing that I really do like speaking to an audience. At first I was apprehensive because I thought that people will just judge me on how dumb I look up there giving a speech but I realized that nobody really cares because everybody had the same fear that I did. As soon as I seized the opportunity to speak I felt sort of at home and my speeches at work come to me easily because of what this speech class had taught me.

    • I can relate to you Irene. I have my Associates and multiple medical licenses under my belt, but I have saved public speaking for the last. Saving public speaking for last is easily one of the most regrettable thing I could have done in my schooling because it would have been useful in all areas of my life. Of course I cannot turn back time, but as we have learned, we should go after every opportunity to speak. I guess we have to start somewhere. Best of luck to you!

  28. I think that Eminem’s lyrics about seizing what may be your only opportunity are very well written and relatable to everyone. That’s probably why he is so successful. I recently seized an opportunity and was very proud of myself for doing so, however the opportunity wasn’t to speak, but to be published. Last year, when I was taking an English class at CSUN, my Professor was impressed by one of my essays and suggested I submit it to “Wings”, a yearly collection of distinguished freshman student essays. So, if I remember it correctly, I submitted my essay to “Wings” on the last day, without really expecting it to get chosen. But to my surprise, my essay was chosen out of hundreds of essays, and it got published! And now that I think about it, I’m so happy that I seized my opportunity to be heard, or read, rather. I could have easily just blown off the chance to get my essay published and forgot about it, but instead, when I was given a chance, I took it, and it paid off! (literally, I received a $100 as well as getting published) And now I think I’m going to try to continue seizing opportunities! That includes opportunities to speak or just opportunities in life! (And this is part of the reason why I chose the earliest dates to speak on in this class!)

    • Ariana,
      Congratulations on being published! I can only imagine how proud you felt not only with being published, but more importantly, by being courageous and seizing an opportunity to be heard/read. I don’t know if you feel this when turning in your work but I’ve always felt that when you turn in something as personal as your words, a sense of vulnerability becomes very apparent (much like how I’m writing in this blog now!)

  29. Lose yourself has to be one of my top inspirational songs ever. I am a big Eminem fan every time I hear this song is like I get inspired. This quote here as all of you guys might know now is really deep in my opinion. “Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity… to seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment… Would you capture it, or just let it slip?” it does not only pertain to speech class but it pertains in life in general. Life is full of chances and you need to start capturing all the chances that come your way.

    • I love what you said Edgar, and you happened to post it on my birthday! 🙂 I agree with you that the lyrics to this song don’t just apply to speech class but to life in general. We so often get caught up in the daily grind that we miss opportunities and don’t live our true passions! You’re so right. Life is full of chances. We need to open our eyes and start seeing them for what they are and acting on them.

  30. I love Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” and have listened to it a thousand times before this without really thinking about the meaning behind it. Especially watching the music video along with paying attention to the lyrics you can hear the struggle in his voice of all that he went through and the chances he took to be where he is today. Comparing public speaking to this is a very interesting and useful concept. Since everything in life that is worth the outcome is scary, it shows that it is definitely worth doing. Like all the bullying and bad family life Eminem went through growing up, public speaking brings a kind of fear to each individual that must be overcome in order to succeed. Taking the chance whenever presented to speak is always a good choice because like you said it improves your skills and makes you able to be heard. This was my favorite blog post and made me think a lot.

  31. I have heard Eminem’s Lose Yourself song many times, but I had never given much thought to the lyrics. The situation or feelings Eminem describes accurately portray a person who is about to give a speech or presentation. Even though I have presented many times throughout my years of schooling, I still hate public speaking. I used to hate math, until I discovered that public speaking was a school subject. At that point, public speaking took the place of math. It makes my palms sweaty and my knees feel weak just like in the song. With that said, I understand that being successful at public speaking is a great skill to have, and it helps you out in many aspects of life. It can help you seem more confident and knowledgeable in various situations.

  32. In my opinion, “Lose Yourself” is one of Eminem’s best songs. I find it amazing that it can be related to a speech and communications class. Eminem’s whole life has been filled with adversity and challenges, anyone who knows his story knows that he did not get to where he is now by being lax. He worked harder than a lot of people in the industry. Most people wouldn’t even give him a chance due to the color of his skin. Eminem didn’t let that stop him. It is true that his story is similar to a lot of the students at LAVC, he comes from a broken home, he had issues with drug use, and had a lot of anxiety when he first started performing with crowds due to the audience he was performing in front of. But through persistence, he was able to reach his goals.

    • That’s true Jaffar, much like Eminem, many of us have faced various challenges in our lives. For some people that challenge might be growing up with only one parent. For others it could be growing up with a complete family, but having no moral or emotional support. For other students it could be having the pressure of taking care of your younger siblings because your parents unexpectedly died. We all have problems we must face and overcome.

    • I agree with you in all that you said. I do think that lose yourself is one of Eminem’s best songs. That song can motivate you to do anything because it talks to everyone in general. It goes to show you that if you have faith and put will into it anything is possible. What he did in the hip hop community is unheard of as a white rapper. He is one of the most talented artist of all time in my opinion.

      • Edgar you are totally right. This song pertains to many situations in life. That quote in the song “Lose Yourself” that you are referring to, I can apply to my life as well. For example, if something comes up to where I’m given a choice or opportunity that will help me in my future I never second guess it. I’m the type of person that likes to reflect on my past choices and if I miss an opportunity just because I was too afraid or too nervous about what people think I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

  33. I think I’ve listened to this song many times, but never really pause to listen to the lyrics. It is amazing to see how words can be transformed into the art of music and portray a powerful message that inspires everyone. Just like Eminem said “Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity …To seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment…Would you capture it, or just let it slip?” I believe it does not get any clearer than that! Every time we have the opportunity to speak, we have “one shot,” “one opportunity,” and we either get lost in anxiety and fail or we “seize everything we ever wanted.” Fear might always be there, and just like Eminem says once again “He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out, He’s choking how, everybody’s joking now …The clock’s run out, time’s up, over,” That is how many feel when they go up on stage, they feel as if words simply won’t come out, they get lost in the moment, fear covers them like a cloud and before they even realize it “times up.” I believe we all the power to conquer fear, if we just practice more and more each time. Fear is a decision, you either let it consume you, or you try to work against it.

    “You can do anything you set your mind” – Eminem

    • I am the same way in that I’ve never payed attention to the lyrics before this. The quote you used from the song “Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity… to seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment… Would you capture it, or just let it slip?” is so powerful. When people miss their chance it is heartbreaking and that could be in Eminem’s instance with his music or in anyone’s life with an important speech. I thought it was cool that the two were related in this post.

  34. i have listened to this song about a billion time but i never really payed attention to the lyrics. i never thought of Eminem being the inspirational type and the connection made between public speaking speaking and this song is dead on. The way some people lose themselves in music or art or dance, others can lose them selves during their speeches. “The moment you own it you better never let it go” Everyone should seize every opportunity because opportunities are rare and people have to be vigilant in seizing them. This song is beyond inspiring. Life is short and if people let fear of public speaking or whatever fears get in the way of making the most of you life and succeeding then you can’t fully enjoy and appreciate your life. Life is too short to let fears ruin whatever chances come your way.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more! I’ve also listened to this song a billion times, but never ever payed close attention to the lyrics. I believe it is very inspiring to see how someone like Eminem would go through harsh moments in his life… but, that just inspired him even more!! and there he is now, writing powerful words through music. Like you said ” the song is beyond inspiring,” and life is short to be surrounded by fear all the time. Sometimes we just need a little more courage to fight against all the feelings inside of us that take away the best in us.

  35. It is so weird to think of Eminem as being shy or timid or afraid to talk, as he is such a dominant force in the music world. Even when what he has to say is controversial, he still says (raps) it confidently. It is hard to picture him as shy in the same way it is hard to imagine Stephen Hawking having to learn algebra or his times tables. These people who are at the top of their game only got there through hard work and it is incredibly inspiring to see that even no matter what stands in your way, be it crippling shyness or motor neuron disease, if you work hard enough, you can overcome any obstacle and rise to meet any challenge

  36. I think Eminem’s song tells it as it is. You have one chance, an opportunity to stand up and let it go… seize the moment.

    I can relate to the anxiety of speaking in front of people. I have regrets to have held back on expressing ideas at my work. We had monthly and quarterly manager meetings which I attended to collaborate on several issues. Often times I would refrain from speaking because I over thought what I needed to say without sounding stupid. In some cases, I just completely lost my thoughts because I wanted to say it perfectly. I gradually started speaking up and became more confident in myself.
    The company closed their California office and so it has been three years since I have had the need to speak in front of people. When I decided to return to school, I thought it was imperative that COMM101 was the first class to tackle.

    After my first speech in class, I know I have a lot more practice to do and I hope that I can overcome my fear.

    • You are definitely right. His song does tell it as is. Even though most people are terrified of speaking publicly they should not let the fear interfere with rare opportunities. I too have anxiety of speaking in front of a crowd and i have let opportunities slip do to this fear and to this day i regret it. Im happy to hear that you are more confident in your ability to speak in front of people. I hope i can be more confident and not let any more opportunities slip away.

    • In the part of your comment where you mentioned that you “over thought what [you] needed to say without sounding stupid” or about how you “lost [your] thoughts because [you] wanted to say it perfectly” caught my attention. I think people can learn from that because, it seems to me that the problem that a lot of people have with public speaking is that they try to achieve some sort of verbal perfection. They want all of their words to come out smoothly and clearly, in beautifully formed sentences. But think about it, doesn’t that just put more pressure on yourself? Doesn’t making things more high stakes make you more likely to mess up? I think it’s really good that you started speaking up and gaining confidence. Good public speaking comes from speaking clearly and in a conversational way; not focusing on perfection and trying to avoid sounding unintelligent.

  37. Growing up I knew Eminem was a popular rap artist who portrays his life struggles through his music, however, I wasn’t such a big fan. I would hear this song play on the radio multiple times and it became everyones favorite song, but what was he really saying? I finally looked into his lyrics and realized that he talks about overcoming the anxiety he had when performing his music in front of large crowds.
    He also mentions how opportunity comes once in a lifetime, and we have to take control and power over our lives because no one is gonna do it for us. We are the future and we hold the key to our own destiny, so we should learn to conquer it.

  38. 1) Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” has to be one of my favorite inspirationals songs. I have always known the message behind this song but never really bothered to actually listen to it word by word. What he says is perfect becuase just like me, ‘m sure many others have felt the same type of anxiety when it comes to public speaking. ” His palms are sweaty,” and “he’s nervous” are the two main quotes that I can relate to most.

    2) It wasn’t until the beggining of middle where my fear of public speaking surfaced. I would turn red, stutter, and my palms would sweat the moment the whole class would look at me. During my high school years I have taken noticed that debating was one of my favorite things to do, but than as soon as it was my turn people wouldn’t take me seriious only because my face would turn red like a cherry. People knew I was nervous and that would only make it worse for me.

    3) It wasn’t until college that I decided to try to accept my anxiety and find ways to cope. One time I had to make a speech for my midterm. I knew I was going to get nervous so I looked at everyone in my class and told myslef that everyone here was just doing the same thing as I am. I would take deep breathes and it would help a lot. My anxiety has gotten better over time

  39. This song never gets old since me and my sister always remember the phrase “mom’s spaghetti” or “he’s choking out” since we always make fun of the lyrics and put it out of context. Now I hear the song again, I just reminiscence those days when my siblings were teenagers and turn up the volume for any Eminem song. We all sang the lyrics and try to rap out the fast ones also even though we were bad at it. Those were good times in my youth and now I’am still trying to figure the rap part. Eminem will always be in my favorite artists.

  40. this song makes people want to be strong, fearless and not mess up with what ever they wanna do. when i was a kid, i use to listen to this song and feel better about my self. i was fat in elementary and felt like the underdog of the social atmosphere. girls didnt like me much, my friends were alright, they just made fun of me sometimes. as i grew up i started noticing the changes i had within my self, got skinnier, confidence rose, and girls had some more interest in me. my thinking became better, could focus more when someone was speaking to me. played waterpolo and it was my chance to shine. got in shape. Became a stronger individual. im happier to this day, that i got my friends that i need, keep a small circle and never get out and surround your self with people who wont bring you up

  41. Learning to Hone a Craft
    1) I have always enjoyed Eminem’s work because you can hear through his music how much time and effort he dedicates in honing his craft. I think that this video is a great representation of speech anxiety and opportunity for numerous reasons. The anxiety is shown at the beginning of the video when he is so overwhelmed that he completely walks away from the audience. However, later in the video you see him after he has spent time practicing in order to go out and completely kill his performance or lose himself in the moment as he so eloquently states.
    2) As far as personal anxiety when it comes to me and public speaking, I must say that I always get nervous. However, this nervousness that I experience is also me being excited. Ever since I was a young girl, I have always been the type to just hop up on a stage and do something whether it was giving a speech, playing an instrument, or even dancing. I have always enjoyed speaking in front of others because I have always been curious to hear what they have to say or what they thought of my words. I have never experienced fear with regards to public speaking, but I have definitely gotten butterflies. However, I just use those butterflies as my motivation to excel at my performance.
    3) Personally, throughout my life span, I have learned that you will be presented with many opportunities, some good and some bad. I personally have been presented with both and through those experiences have learned that it’s not about quantity, but rather quality. I personally do not seize every opportunity that comes my way, but I do try to seize the opportunities that appear to be beneficial rather than a hindrance to my life. I think knowing how to speak as well as present yourself in public is a great set of skills to have under your belt.

  42. Seizing the moment.
    1) In the video, first we see Eminem so nervous, and scared to perform. He walks away from the audience because of the anxiety. And later in the video, he comes out strong, controls his anxiety. He uses the opportunity to seize everything he ever wanted, once he has owned the moment. He doesn’t let go until the crowd sings along with him. Just like in public speaking
    Anxiety can get the best of you, but learn how to control it, so you can deliver a good public speech
    And also knowing that public speaking is an opportunity that one should never let go
    Because it increases a person’s confidence.

    2) Each time am supposed to do a public speech, anxiety gets the best of me. I get so nervous and sometimes I walk away from the room before saying anything. I have fear of everyone staring at me, I some
    Times lose my words and begin to stammer, and tend to forget almost everything I prepared before the presentation. And just stare back at the audience. I really cant chose between solo or
    group presentation.
    As long as the presentation is done in a quiet room and everyone is staring at me, anxiety kicks in.

    In this class , I want to be able to speak publicly with out fear. I want to learn how I can control all my anxiety. And to seize any opportunity that life brings..

    3) I want to be a great public speaker, that’s why I registered for this class. I want to have the confidence to speak to the publicly without any fear, so I can seize each opportunity that life brings at any time without any excuse. I want to know how to deal with the anxiety so that each time, I speak my audience can relate to whatever am talking about. Public speaking is the hardest thing for me, but I know if l in effort in this class (Com 1) I will be able to overcome every obstacle so I can be a great public speaker. I want to be able to seize each opportunity that life brings without backing down because am too scared to speak up my mind.

    • It is very noble of you to sign up for a class you are fearful of. Just remember what Duane taught us. The more we give speeches the less fearful it becomes. Always prepare for your speeches. Make sure they have a structure and an amazing intro to grab the everyones attention. Also have a great conclusion that is inspired by you, with two or three body points. If you do all of these things you will do great.

    • I admire the reason why you decided to take this class because I too did the same thing. It would bug me so much that I coulnd’t speak in fornt of people so every time we do presentations those are moments that I try to take control, my way of seizing the moment.

  43. I have listened to this song a few times before, but I had never really listened closely to the lyrics and what it meant. Hearing the lyrics and watching the video was really powerful. Knowing that, like Eminem, so many people come from challenging backgrounds (impoverished, abusive, prejudiced, etc) and seeing examples of that as the video takes us around the decrepit streets of Detriot, moved me and connected me to the song in a way that hearing it on the radio had not before. Watching Eminem preparing backstage to take the stage and claim his opportunity was really cool. It reminded me of what we have read in Professor Smith’s book about how preparation is the key to a successful performance.

    Public speaking can be really daunting. When I was younger, I used to get really uncomfortable about getting up in front of people to speak. I was overweight and I knew that kids, who could be really mean, would make fun of me or make faces at me. I always did an OK job, but I did not like bringing any attention to myself unless I was forced to. I still get a little bit nervous when I have to speak, but I have mostly conquered my fear because I am a singer. Ever since I was about 9 or 10, I have had to get up in front of people to sing songs with choirs as well as solos. I studied music at a conservatory, and I had to get up and perform in front of people all the time. I actually get a little more nervous speaking than I do singing, because with singing I’m confident and know I will do a good job. I have to speak at my church a lot these days, and most of the time I have to “wing it” which doesn’t allow for a lot of preparation and still makes me uneasy sometimes.

    I must admit that I don’t seize every opportunity, but that’s because not every opportunity feels like a good fit. I have had the good fortune to do some cool things in my 30 years of life, and if I’d taken every opportunity I would have been changing focus over and over again. I think it’s more critical to know yourself well enough not to let a good opportunity pass you by. For example, at the church I go to, the choir director position opened up. I have years of past professional choir experience, and I’m a good manager and leader. So although, I did not have the exact history of being a choir director before, I felt that I could be successful and do a good job. I’ve had the job for several months now, and I have a happy choir and the response to the music we’ve been making has been positive. If I had been afraid to present myself as a possible replacement (for whatever reasons) I wouldn’t have created the opportunity for myself and do what I am doing now!

    • Reading your comment actually makes me feel safe. Knowing I wasn’t the only kid in school who was made fun of and talked about, I feel as if I could relate. Im glad you opened up to your audiences and took control of your anxiety and public speaking. As well as getting more knowledge on Eminems song “Lose Yourself” since I was on the same boat as you not knowing anything about his musical lyrics. Hope your opportunity as choir director goes well and best of luck to you.

  44. The Real Truth

    Eminem’s music video “loose yourself” is a well wrote song that relates to his personal experiences growing up in an urban community. In his song he raps about trying desperately to become a successful rapper so he can provide a better life for his family. I personally thought the video was intriguing because it told a real story of his life and the video matched his lyrics in a nutshell. We all have a story to tell because we all had different types of experiences in our childhood that helped made us who we are today. He describes his fear of rapping in front of people and that relates to this speech and anxiety class because in order for us to pass this course we must be able to speak in front of the class, and the professor must understand what your trying to say.

    Speaking in front of people that you don’t know can be challenging. When I have to speak in front of people I think about what I’m going to say before hand and I take a deep breath and I hope that the words will just flow without error. In the meantime, I start to feel a lot of pressure when I can see people’s eyes starring directly at me, and that’s when my anxiety kicks in at full force. I don’t have the confidence that I would love to have. My heart starts to pump fast, and I can feel it throbbing in and out of my chest like some twelve-inch sub woofers trying to break out of the speaker box. My words don’t come out as expected and I start to stutter. My knees feel like their going to buckle, but I try to hold my composure so I won’t be the next laughed at victim on social media.

    At this point of my life I don’t have any more time to waste. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the clock, so I can make a few minor changes to my lifestyle. However I know that I cannot change the past or tell the future; I need to live in the present and make necessary steps to move forward with my family, career, and education. That’s when I decided to take this Public speaking course. It will not only help boost my confidence, but I believe it is a great skill set that I can take with me anything life brings my way.

  45. 1.In my opinion without doubt the music video does closely related to speech anxiety and opportunities. The signs of anxiety, when someone needs to speak in front of a group of people are well portrayed in the song: sweaty palms, weak knees, vomiting sensation and what is more important the act of forgetting what one had wrote. The fear of speaking in public is one of the biggest problems that can hold you from success which must be overcome with the desire of being better and rising to the occasion. Like the lyric said: “You can do anything you set your mind to”, and this is completely true.

    2.I will say that the song perfectly described my personal experience from 2010, on my high school graduation day, I was assigned to do a speech in order to thank the faculty for the scholarship I had won. “His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy… He keeps on forgetting what had wrote down…He opens his mouth but the words won’t come out” and “You can do anything you set your mind to”, these four sentences of the song reminded me of the fear and anxiety that I felt that day, but it also reminded me how I talked myself into finishing the speech without even knowing.

    3.Seizing the opportunities in life is not always easy, but one needs to do what they need to, in order to take advantages of the opportunities that are knocking at the doors. Honestly I’m taking my speech class because I have to, not because I want to. I’m afraid of speaking in front of a group of people, but I will take this class as a challenge to better my communication skills with others and overcome my fears.

    • I think that your post was really great and I like how you incorporated the lyrics into your response. I have also experienced times before I had to do a presentation or something that required me to speak in front of a large group and initially I was nervous. However, just as you finished your speech without even knowing, I also did the same thing with my presentation.

    • I agree with you. We definitely have to seize the moment and take advantage of every situation put in front of us. Especially if that opportunity is the ability to speak to a large crowd—a situation in which most people would be scared senseless. The song perfectly describes the sensations and thoughts that go through your head before you stand up to present something to a crowd.

  46. You Only Get Once Chance

    1. There is a very strong relationship between the Eminem’s lyrics and the emotions experienced before presenting a speech. Eminem describes the nervous symptoms he experiences before performing that are identical to what a speaker feels before speaking. Vomiting, sweaty palms and trembling limbs are all things a speaker can feel before presenting. Performing is a form of speech after all. His determination to seize the moment is very good advice because opportunities can be rare to prove yourself. Speaking well before a group is beneficial to the speaker in many ways. It can show a lot about the speaker’s character and how they can carry themselves.

    2. I definitely fall into the category of terrified of public speaking. Even speaking to a small group I get nervous, sweaty and often my face turns red. I tend to over think about speaking before the actual time I speak which generates anxiety well before actually speaking. Then, during a speech, I worry about how I am coming across to others. Is my voice trembling? Is it obvious that I’m sweating or that my face is turning red? I feel an overwhelming amount of judgment and although I try to not care what others think, I am terrified of being judged while speaking. I try to follow guidelines such as speaking a good pace and volume and making eye contact with your audience but in the moment, sometimes I forget to do those things.

    3. Opportunities to build your speaking skills and improve your confidence are rare and few between. So while these opportunities to speak may be nerve-wracking, they should definitely be seized. Public speaking is an important skill to have because how you present yourself during a small presentation or a large speech tells who ever is listening a lot about you. It shows a lot about your character and personality. It can tell a future employer how well you carry yourself and what level of confidence you have. Having strong public speaking skills can give you the potential to succeed in life.

    • Hi Julianna,

      I know what you mean! Turning red, feeling warm and sweaty is so typical, and I get that way too sometimes before I have to speak in front of a group. I have found some breathing exercises that help me quite a bit. I’m sure you can look into those online. It helps to regulate your heartbeat a little more so you don’t have that heart-pounding feeling. It also helps with shortness of breath. It’s tough not to over-think those things that you mentioned. Give the breathing tricks a try!


  47. Life Lessons from Eminem

    1. Eminem’s last line in the song, “You can do anything you set your mind to, man” is an important lesson to remember because it means you can achieve your dreams if you choose to face your fears. As stated in the blog, public speaking is the number one fear in life and this means that for many it is an obstacle that must be overcome in order to achieve dreams. These lyrics describe the struggles people may go through in life and when given the chance to succeed, must find it within themselves to face their fears in order to free them. “He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs, but he keeps on forgetting…he opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out…Snap, back to reality, oh, there goes gravity” clearly illustrates how I feel when it comes to public speaking. Most people seem to be afraid of being judged by others in a negative way and this is what leads to this performance anxiety of feeing nervous and embarrassed in front of people.
    2. I don’t remember having such a fear of public speaking as a kid until some point in middle school when I realized it was scary to talk in front of people during presentations. I get very anxious and nervous in situations where I am being judged or evaluated from what I am saying. Even if I know my stuff and even if it’s not a big deal, I can’t help but obsess about it until it actually happens. I worry about how I will look, act, if my face is beet red or if I am sweating bullets. The thought of having to do presentations, speeches, and interviews are the most stressful situations I can remember being in and have always tried to avoid it whenever I could. I can’t say how many classes I’ve dropped or wanted to take but chose not to all because they involved giving presentations and speeches. I realize that the only way to get over it now is to just do, so here I am.
    3. I definitely think that seizing any great opportunity that comes your way to grow and improve is important and could even be rare. The only way to make fear lose its power is to go through it and realize that it is not as scary as it seems to be. I absolutely hate speaking in front of people in a planned speech format, but I know that it is one of the best life skills to have accomplished. Of every class I have taken and every nerve wracking interview I’ve had, I just ran through it just to get it over with. This class, hopefully, will help me overcome this fear and make me not feel like it’s just another hill I have to climb over and over again.

  48. Not Alone
    1) This video and the song talks about the many experiences people go through when they have to speak in front of a class. Typical anxiety people get such as sweaty palms, dry mouth or forgetting what you have to say. His message is meaningful because he is telling us to seize the moment cause we might only have one opportunity to be successful or to change our lives. That opportunity might work out or it might be worse then you already expect it. But you never know because you have to take that chance. If you don’t take it then you are left wondering how it would of ended up.
    2) My personal anxiety and I actually began going through this last year in the fall. I had to give a presentation for my biology class and I ended up having sweaty palms, my mouth got really dry, and I totally forgot everything I had to say so I had to read my note cards most of the time. I was shaking or I felt like I was but it was awful. Then it happened again last year in the spring I had to give another presentation and I had the same symptoms but they were not as bad as the first one. Hopefully it wont happen again or not as bad this semester. Seems like I cant catch a break in giving speeches.
    3) Me seizing the moment is that I should take the opportunity and not run away from it. They say its called the “flight or fight” reaction and sometimes when I have to give a speech I chose to run away. But recently I have been pushed and I faced my fears in giving speeches in my last two semester. Hopefully this semester I can get over my fear of public speaking or at least not feel as bad as I do when I am up there since I have to give speeches in the class but also in my physio.

    • Brian I can relate to your post and I agree that if you don’t take the opportunity given to you then you are left wondering how it would of ended up. There has been plenty of times that I let great opportunities pass me by but that will not happen again. I always use to wonder how my life would’ve been effected. In addition speaking in front of people just makes me have major anxiety. Well I’m taking the necessary baby steps to overcome this and by seeing some of the presentations last week it has given me some sort of faith. I know everyone was nervous but I believe this class will help all of us overcome this fear of speaking in front of people.

    • I agree with your post that you when you are about to give a speech that you forget what you have to say. I’m also trying to get that fear out of me so I could become a better speaker in the future and become better speakers. Just keep practiceing and you will get at public speaking

  49. Seizing a moment in time

    1. I like the video and song because the lyrics have a strong message for anyone of any age. This song relates to speech anxiety and opportunity because the message from the artist is
    telling the listener to take the opportunity and seize the moment or things might not turn out like you hoped they would. The example in the video that made a big impression to me is when Mathew Mather’s is visiting his child and Eminem is telling the story of his daughter not even knowing who he was. This for me is telling me that if he as a Dad would have taken the time to seize a moment with his daughter and spend time with her, then life with his daughter would be more fulfilling for their relationship.

    2. I have had some issues in the past when I have been in a forum of public speaking and I have taken the time throughout my professional career to try and overcome my issues with public speaking. When I was a young teenager I was the type of guy that was afraid of my own shadow and afraid of what people may say and or think. I came to a realization that the people around me are normal and these same people also make mistakes and everyone is awkward in their own way. In my work experience I have tried my best to express myself professionally when speaking in public to a crowd of co-workers that are there to gain knowledge from my speech. I can say that no matter how many times I speak in a public forum, I always get nervous and I coach myself with positive words and phrases that will help me over come any fear I may have.

    3. To seize an opportunity for me is to face your fears and to take advantage of the opportunities I am given. In this class I am here to face my fears head on and to help better my skills so that I can gain the respect of people around me and the people within my future dream career. The success I intend to gain when speaking in public is to make my listeners feel comfortable and have them relate to my topic and win them over with a positive note for success in whatever topic it may be. I also intend to seize those moments when our professor provides me with extra credit. Using the tools one is given can better help you become the best at what you are set out to do, which my own personal quote for success.

  50. The message I get from this blog and video is that I need to take advantage of those opportunities life brings my way and face them to become a better person. I don’t want to think back in life and think of any regrets I may have had in life, I need to seize the moments that come my way and overcome any fears I may have and public speaking is one I can overcome with the help of my professor and fellow students.

  51. Sky’s the Limit – Lose Yourself

    1. I think Eminem’s video hits the nail on the head. He talks about every fear and anxiety that comes up when you have to get in front of a crowd, large or small and put yourself out there (i.e. “palms are sweaty there’s vomit on his sweater already” “words not coming out” “feeling heavy”) and showing your art which can be a very intimate part of who you are. Fear of being judged but also overcoming the fear in a way where it’s not about pleasing everyone by being perfect but instead becomes an opportunity have confidence and faith in yourself to not let the fear and judgment stand in your way and trudging through it.

    2. I can completely relate to the anxiety Eminem talks about in “Lose Yourself”. I have been in situations where there was an opportunity for me to stand up and say a few words about myself in front of a group of people. In situations like this I would rather leave the room/group and never return in order to avoid having to do this. I have since come to terms that with this fear and even though I still feel nervous and anxious when speaking in front of group of people, I don’t feel the sudden urge to run out of the room. This for me is progress. Something that helped me was someone saying that the fear of public speaking is due to self-centeredness of the human condition. I am suffering because of the fear of what everyone is thinking of me, but whether I sounded dumb or intelligent, gave a perfect talk or not, the audience is also too busy thinking of themselves to remember what I talked about anyway. This brought me comfort in some weird way.

    3. I love Eminem’s message about seizing the moment and opportunity. When he talks about “one shot” I interpret this to one shot at this life. To choose to win or fail, be a leader or a follower and whether to make excuses or give it your’ all. We only get one shot to fulfill our destiny and live up to our fullest potential no matter what the odd are against us. He makes a bold statement when he says “success is my only mother fucken option failures not”. This is about not settling for mediocrity. Seizing the opportunity and “owning it” by putting all of your focus on what you want to accomplish and being willing to go to any lengths to achieve your goal.

  52. Marshall’s thoughts escape

    1. After watching Eminem’s video of “Lose Yourself” the part that really caught my attention was when Eminem raps: “He’s choking how, everybody’s joking now. The clock’s run out, time’s up, over, bloah! Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity…” this to me paints an image in my head of how people react when having to speak in Public. Some react different than others but like stated before, public speaking to some is their worst fear in life. So when Eminem is describing how he feels right before having to face a big audience and how the things he has rehearsed just isn’t coming out the way planned, it is a mirror copy of how people in the real world feel as well when standing in front of crowds and having to speak up. There is good news though people, you aren’t alone in this! Most people you encounter feel the same way as you about speeches, but it becomes easier with time and practice. Never lose an opportunity because of a fear. Fear can be overcome always.

    2. Public speaking hasn’t always come so natural to me, the anxiety used to kick in once I was standing in front of the audience. As time went on and I was chosen to speak in front of my peers more and more I became more comfortable with it. I felt as if for once I could take control of the anxiety, which was just thoughts in my head of me failing. The thought of failing in front of people I knew just would take over my body. I learned that it was okay to fail at times as long as you knew how to get back up and give it another shot. I then became so comfortable with speaking in Public that it was what really helped me get into acting at the young age I did. I learned to love to be able to express myself in front of audiences and wasn’t ever the “shy girl” anymore, I really became the person I always wanted to be.

    3. Public speaking is such a great tool to sharpen, in most areas of your life at a point you will need to speak in front of peers. So I personally took this class to not just get another basic done but to improve on how I talk when put on the spot in front of an audience. Public speaking also makes you feel and even look more knowledgeable. This will come in handy for jobs, relationships, and to better yourself as well. Nothing feels better than to be able to use the skills we learn in this class to help give us more confidence when these situations come up. I know that I wouldn’t want to lose an opportunity because of something like public speaking, or anything in general. I’m all about taking risks and really pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Which in this class I’m sure it will just do that, but It’s a good habit to get used to.

  53. – The video does relate to speech anxiety, and being able to seize the opportunity to speak. The video describes some of the symptoms people feel when they are about to speak in front of a crowd. The most common thing people do when they are about to speak is vomit. The video also describes, how scared people are of being boo’d of stage. Knowing what the worse outcome could be is helpful, because it can help you improve. This video encourages people not to give up, and go back to that stage as many times needed.
    – When it comes to public speaking I freak out like there is no tomorrow, and look for ways to get out of it. English is my second language, and that some times makes me self-conscious. I have a quiet, and soft voice which makes it hard for people to hear me.When I seriously panic my voice sound like a five year old. When I panic I tend to talk really fast, which makes it sound like I am talking in gibberish. Being blunt is another reason why I do not like speaking in public, I just get straight to the point.
    – I do think is important for people to seize opportunities that come their way. Even the smallest opportunity can be a whole new beginning. Opportunities expose us to new ideas that help us grow in multiple ways. Being able to seize the opportunities that come along demonstrates how strong, and courageous we can be. Just by sucking it up, and doing what you are suppose do in class can give you a good grade, and help you overcome on of your worst fears. It is important to seize the opportunities that life brings, because they may never come by again.

    • Vanessa_Barrientos:
      We have something in common (besides most people’s fear of speaking in front of people!). I speak in a soft voice too. A lot of people have told me I speak so soft and I often have to repeat myself. It’s something I can’t help because that’s just the way I talk. I get hot and flustered when I am nervous and stumble over my words too. Normally, I hate attention. I don’t like a lot of people looking at me. But good luck to you and everybody! This class, I hope, will help every one of us to find our inner boldness and shoot for the stars 🙂

  54. Opportunities Are to be Seized

    1.) Eminem’s music video does relate to speech anxiety and opportunities without a doubt. Aside from mentioning a list of symptoms that describe speech anxiety at its worst, to demonstrates “Rabbit” being overwhelmed by the feeling on stage! I thought it was great to show both sides of the situation, apart from failing and suffering through peoples number one fear it shows the fact that this fear can be overcome, and that you cannot be condemned for failing. Failing just means you have to try again or try harder next time but there will always be a way to redeem yourself. Eminem would not be who he is if after slipping up maybe on his first time he gave up because it was such a daunting fear. Everyone can mess up a speech and thats fine, but trying again makes the difference. Something i think the music video demonstrates perfectly.

    2.) My personal anxiety with regards to public speaking has been with me since i was a child. If i had to ask someone for something but i did to know them, i would simply try to do it myself or tell someone else to ask for me. It was just terrifying not knowing what the stranger might give as a response to what i asked, what if they would just laugh at me making a fool out of me and then where would i be, still having to ask someone else. Sure i grew older and got over it to the point where i can speak out in public to anyone anytime and anywhere but, when i have to speak out in front of an audience all alone, it changes things and suddenly those feelings of being a kid asking the stranger for something resurface.

    3.) I believe that if an opportunity has presented itself in front of you, then there is a reason it has happened, and even if you don’t take advantage of the opportunity it will cause as much effect on your life as if you did. The opportunity can be life changing and you can be rich and famous like Eminem or you can let it go and then regret it forever but it still causes some effect in your life. As far as this class and the opportunity it presents, you can simply get a grade and move on or take the opportunity and let this class change those fears and let it carry you onto something better, and sure this opportunity is not as rare as Eminem’s but its just as useful.

    • I completely agree with your post. In life we are presented with choices all the time. We can either choose to make the best out of every opportunity and get the most out of every experience or we can just skate through life, play it safe and stay in our comfort zone, however if we do this, we will never learn, grow, win or fail and will lose out on many opportunities and lessons life has to offer.

    • I also was scared to ask people when i was a little kid. I kind of still act the same now when I want to ask a stranger for something. I end up saying Ill just do it next time or Ill find out on my own. When it comes to public speaking I feel the same way also. I agree with your statement about the opportunity this class presents you can simply get a grade or take the opportunity. I want to take the opportunity to improve myself and I dont know if this class will help me with my fear a lot, a little or at all. But ofcourse I have to take the opportunity to be able to find out.

  55. 1.)I’ve been listening to this song for a couple of years now,and never did I stop and think about the meaning or what it was really saying. Now that I’ve been given this assignment to listen to one of my all-time favorite artist, one of the songs I thought I knew… I can see how much more it relates to speech anxiety and opportunity we might be missing. Eminem describes how most people feel right before they are about to be on stage- or any Speech in front of a large group of people in general. Those feelings we get deep inside. Everything that goes through our head when we are ready to deliver a speech, how we just freeze forget and we lose our train of thought. One of the verse that really makes me feel that moment is when he mentions “He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out, He’s choking how, everybody’s joking now, The clock’s run out, time’s up, over.” He is letting us know how on moment if we let fear in we can miss an opportunity.

    2.) My biggest fear IS Speech. It IS my biggest anxiety; this is my 3rd time trying to take the class because every time I tried taking it, just saying my name would make me feel sick. My voice cracks, my heart races, I start sweating, and I just want to drop everything and run out. I have really tried to just be tough about it, but when I stand up there with all eyes on me I forget every single thing I had in mind to say. My goal is to try overcoming it at least in ways where I can deliver a simple proper speech without having to freeze or my voice cracking. It is something I am hoping to overcome in this class.

    3.) Public speaking is a HUGE part of our lives, and they can open so many opportunities. Everywhere we go everyone we meet, jobs. It all has to do of how confident you are able to deliver a speech. I believe that anything is possible and if we really set our mind to it we can realty overcome our fears. I enjoy listening to everything the professor discusses in class and makes me feel like I can overcome this. I hope that by the end of this term I could come out a better speaker, overcome all my fears and being able to deliver a speech in a more confident way.

    • Hi Jessica, I can relate to you 100%. Public speaking is one of my greatest fears as well and I can’t say how many times I have missed out on opportunities because of it. I have never taken speech before, but I have literally waited until the last minute so I have to face it now. I think that the fact that you have actually come back to class 3 times already says a lot about your determination and I am sure you will succeed. Best of luck!

  56. What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire

    Honestly, I have never personally seen the video per se, but I have heard and listened to this song via radio many times before when it was popular. Actually, it is still popular and used as movie/tv show tracks because the song is powerful and tends to empower. I can see that he’s come from a hard life. The video portrays that and it shows reality, how society is, how it can bring a person down but by will, you can rise back up again – like a phoenix. Although I was oblivious to the message to this song’s lyrics at first (because rap isn’t my type of music genre that I listen to) so the blog “Speech Anxiety and Opportunity” was an open doorway to get a glimpse of Eminem’s hardships and his message of speech anxiety. I think this is a positive message, especially to the youth genre when speaking is almost taboo and is a common fear for any age groups and culture.

    The first image that pops in my head is the image of me on stage, and all eyes are on me, looking at me, probing at me, judging me, and I am sweating. My very first experience of “public” speaking is presenting a powerpoint to a class of 20 something students in a sociology class. Why is it so nerve wracking to get up and speak? Even if it’s just presenting information. But I got up and I spoke loud and clear. I passed but the one thing that the professor commented on was that I failed to make eye contact. I was looking mostly at the powerpoint. There is something inside of me that wants to be a really good speaker. Being predominantly introvert doesn’t help the anxiety with public speaking! This is terrible to admit to myself even. I know it is beneficial to feel comfortable to speak publicly. In my head, I fancy myself the best speaker or at least good at it. Or sometimes I fancy myself – at least – a ‘good’ poet competing in poetry slam onstage.

    If the opportunity will help increase personal growth, I feel, think, and believe I, and anybody else, should go and get it. Although, we are human. Sometimes you miss it, but I think if you really want it, you’ll work hard at achieving it and when it’s brought on a platter presented to your face once again, maybe, probably, most definitely, you should grab it, hold it, keep it, use it, and grow along with it Nothing is ever easy. But everything requires work and effort and good intentions. Here’s to the good ole saying: “Life is short; live it to the fullest”.

    • After reading what you wrote about how you would start sweating, feeling people judge you, how having all eyes on you make you feel. I couldn’t help to relate. At least you were able to get passed your presentation. I don’t think I ever got that far. I would love to be an excellent speaker as well and I hope we are all able to come out as different people at the end of this class term.

    • I can most definitely relate to you when it comes to feeling like you want to be a good Public Speaker but it sometimes just doesn’t turn out that way. In many occasions when I would have to present something in front of my class I wouldn’t want to give eye contact either. I felt that if I did I would get distracted or lose my spot of concentration in whatever I was doing. But as time went on it got easier, so like you said “Life is short..” so might as well give it a good hard try and see where you can end up. Putting those fears and anxiety aside will show you that anyone is capable of getting through it!

  57. Marshall Mathers – An Unlikely Savior

    As far as I am concerned, Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ is a timeless piece of artistry that not only accurately portrays the struggle with speech anxiety, but with many real life issues from which we can only hope to free ourselves by seizing each and every opportunity presented to us. I have leaned on Eminem repeatedly for strength and inspiration when faced with fright and apprehension in asserting myself. It is absolutely frightening to put yourself out there, in front of perfect strangers, in interviews, board meetings, the dance floor and/or class. Mr. Mathers not only tells us, but shows us, that if we are able to overcome ‘stage fright,’ we can actually rescue ourselves and others from numerous obstacles by seizing the opportunity to share our gifts, talent and intellect with the world – perhaps creating an endless flow of opportunity in the process!

    For me, whenever I had to get up in front of a crowd to say anything, thoughts of ridicule, embarrassment and the like would swell to where I actually felt like I was drowning. I would wade through it, barely able to breathe and barely able to remember the episode afterward. It may be hard to believe, but I couldn’t remember what I had said just two minutes earlier! If a friend or co-worker was there, he or she would rescue me afterward and tell me how I did. Often, they would say I did fine and console me, but they would also have to tell me what I said so I would believe them. I am a little better now, but I am still quite uncomfortable before an audience.

    Please believe me when I say, I really wish I could meet Marshall Mathers and thank him personally for his art. ‘Lose Yourself ‘ is not only a catchy song, it was released at a time in my life where I had to take drastic measures to save myself and a few other people from absolute destruction. That song not only pulled me through, it gave me a perspective that I hadn’t tapped into before – the ‘what do I have to lose’ perspective. I not only seized the opportunity in front of me at that moment, I learned to prepare for and recognize all subsequent opportunities in the future, regarding each and every one as “maybe the only opportunity that I got.” I hope this class will help me fine-tune my public speaking skills, take away any remnants of stage fright remaining and prepare me for every opportunity on the horizon.

    • I can defiantly relate to those thoughts you got before speaking in front of a crowd, even the feeling of drowning, and sometimes the people in front of you are not even complete strangers or you already know that your going to have to step up in front of them but some how it still hits you once you get up and speak. Other times i think its just that my mind over works the situation and the suspense up until the actual moment is what affects me the most. What i picked up when i was in high school, that helped sometimes was that if i can’t see the reactions on their face then i wouldn’t panic. So i’d just take my glasses off, and since I’m as blind as a bat, i could just focus on the front row and feel like it was less of a big deal then it actually was.

  58. Eminem’s rap has meaning
    Many times I saw Eminem’s video “Lose Yourself” but not until today I realized what song was about. When he is vomiting in toilet I though because of narcotics. I thought his song was going to be like other rap songs, usually about gangs, money and cars. I called my kids to watch the video with me because I know it will be interesting for them and they can explain to me his lyrics. Finally, I realized that he was vomiting because of anxiety attack. As Eminem says in his song he may look OK on the outside but inside he’s having an anxiety singing in front of public. The opportunity comes once in a lifetime don’t blow it when you have one.
    Whenever I need to do a speech in front of audience I get nervous. It’s hard to find right words at the moment I need. It is because I don’t have enough knowledge of language and my English vocabulary is poor. Most of the time people understand only the part of my thoughts. But I’m never shy to speak with people even if there is a misunderstanding. Like Eminem says success is his only option, failure is not. Everyday learning and repeating speech for a slight amount of time will help me successfully in public speaking.
    There were many situations in my life where I need to make a decision which way to go, what decision is right for me and my family. I thing making the right choice is a using the opportunity. One great opportunity is attending the college, especially the speech class which helps me for my everyday life. It is never late to learn. I always fell the need to explore and learn something new. ” Don’t blow your opportunity when you have one.”- Eminem. Eminem’s rap has meaning, and is good example of success.

  59. Success is your only option

    Speech anxiety is a very common problem faced by so many people. The worst cases of it are seen an example of people who by virtue of their jobs are forced to routinely deal with large audiences. Probably, the most notorious case of speech anxiety in music industry is an example of Eminem’s video “Loose yourself”. In this video the rap artist paints a painful vivid picture of a singer experiencing symptoms of speech fear on a verge of a life changing opportunity. The symptoms: sweaty palms, nausea, shaking oh the hands, pounding in the ears, and a feeling of dissociation from reality are all portrayed in very real and personal manner. It is quite obvious to the viewer, that Eminem is no stranger to speech anxiety to himself. The fact that the upcoming performance was that of a life changing importance has clearly amplified his torture, and made him ever more anxious and nervous. The realization of the importance of the upcoming event usually is the exact thing that drives the person ever more anxious in the first place, hence making those event that matter most, the most nerve racking and difficult to survive. The more the even matters to the speaker (singer in our case), the more difficult and upsetting becomes the preparations for it, and the more anxious and out of control the person feels, this lowering their subjective perception of their chances for success, and thus creating a vicious cycle.

    However just as with the main character of the “8 Mile” movie and Eminem himself in real life we can see that performance anxiety can and is routinely overcome by those facing it. Scary as it may seem, at first, with enough training and preparation it can be overcome and eventually reduce itself to a small “hiccup” on the road of success. Relaxation technics, mantras, good luck charms, meditations and so many other different approaches are used daily to combat the anxiety of a speaker, and most of them work, when applied properly. When there’s a will, there’s a way, as they say, sometimes, even in front of a thousand strong live audience.

  60. I’m Not Afraid to Take A Step

    One my favorite songs on my iTunes list, it’s motivating, exciting, prompting and inspiring. Eminem has a point “you only have one shot” and not just relating in public speaking but in the real world. It’s even lucky for someone to have a one shot opportunity to come to him or her. Eminem is stating that even with practice one can just literally get nervous and blank out! I always to remember, “you own it, you better never let it go.”

    My biggest personal anxiety is giving a clear speech in front of an audience. I begin to stutter and make myself unclear of my speech. I’ve had a rough childhood around people; it’s difficult for me to stand up in front of an audience while all eyes on me. I look calm giving a speech but once I’m in front of an audience for too long I begin to feel uncomfortable.

    Music has been a major part of my life since I was in middle school. I became a deejay in the beginning of school, and since than I wanted to have a career in the music industry. Later in high school, a few friends of mine that are top-dog club deejays told me to try music production. During the journey, I decided myself to host my own radio station in the city of LA. But as I mentioned before, my personal anxiety is giving a public speech to an audience, I’d completely blank out if I’m giving it to a whole city. I’m seizing this opportunity, Communications 101 and many more units until I feel comfortable and ready! Public speaking is a big part of society; everyone needs it in some point in life. My goal, is to exceed my speech and develop.

  61. Hi, my name is Liza, and I am a… Public Speaker.

    At first I didn’t really understand the connection, but then I listened again and I got a much better sense of what he was saying. In this passage he completely describes what it’s like to try and stand up before an audience and speak.

    “His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
    There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti
    He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs,
    But he keeps on forgetting what he wrote down,
    The whole crowd goes so loud
    He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out
    He’s choking how, everybody’s joking now”

    For most of my life I didn’t have a voice. A large part of that is from my dyslexia, amplified by the powerful, academic family that I grew up in. I was told that I didn’t know…, I didn’t feel…, I didn’t ……. you insert the words. I couldn’t ask a question in school, couldn’t make a toast at my brother’s wedding, couldn’t even talk to my friends without running through what I was going to say a half dozen times to make sure it was appropriate. By the time I finally got it out, the conversation had moved so far ahead that it wasn’t appropriate anymore.

    As Eminem says,

    “I’ve been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage”

    One of the fabulous things about growing older is that you care less about what everybody thinks of you. I remember never being able to raise my hand in class to ask a question. Now I have no problem doing it, and have realized that most people are very happy when I ask because they are at least as lost as I am, if not more.

    The way that I have learned to overcome the fears is through, of all things, a 12 step program. Just to be able to stand up and say “Hi, my name is Liza, and I’m an Alcoholic” was terrifying. I thought I might die. Knowing that the recovery is in the doing, I realized that I needed to be able to tell my story. At first it was impossible- I couldn’t remember anything that I had said. As I continued it became much easier.

    Almost twenty years ago when my father passed away, I really wanted to be able to speak at his memorial service. My dad was my best friend when he died. I still wasn’t sure that I could do it until I thought, just pretend that it’s a meeting. I told my sister-in-law that if I stopped talking after I said “Hi, my name is Liza,” that she should reply “Hi, Liza.” I summoned all the strength I could, said a prayer, and stood up in the front of the chapel and told several hundred people about “my daddy.” My father was a very famous professor, and most of the audience knew him as that, but I was the only one who was able to tell them about “my daddy.”

    My sister thought as a public speaker that I had been holding out on them. What a nice compliment.

    • Hi Liza. I am quite moved by your story and very sorry for your loss. I am sure that even though it was 20 years ago that your Daddy passed, that loss is still felt tremendously.

      Please know that you sound AMAZING and I know that your Daddy is very, very proud of you. That thought, in and of itself, should give you great strength and comfort – especially knowing that he was your best friend.

      Please know that I will pray for you as well as your success. I am sure that you will pursue your dreams and opportunities with great zeal because you have already come so very far.

      Good luck to you.

  62. Anita_Davtyan

    Once You Own It, Don’t Never Let It Go
    In my opinion Eminem’s ” lose Yourself” is a encouraging video which directly relates to speech anxiety and opportunity.As Eminem said in his rap ” The moment you own it, you better never let it go (go) you only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow” demonstrates that once you get the opportunity do not let the fear rule your life and held you back from succeeding. In order to succeed in our competitive society we have to take advantage of all the opportunities we get throughout our lifetime. We should never let fear and anxiety to prevent us from using our oppotunities to reach our goals for the future because we might not be fortunate enough to get a second chance. We need to go through obstacles and build up our self esteem and change our personality that would be better suited in our society.
    Public speaking is my number one obstacle that I want to overcome before moving on to the wider world, where I would have to participate in many presentations and public speaking experiences. Everyones opinions and perspective toward many situations and stages in life is very important. In my life I have missed many opportunities that were involved in public speaking which held me back from succeeding. Everytime I have to present an assignment front of the class or many people I get very nervous and out of character. The fear of being misunderstood or embarrassed held me back from explaining my point and sharing my ideas about the topic.I always fear that whatever i do might not be right or as good as it needs to be.
    Seizing opportunities life brings your way is the secret for succession. Opportunities are rare and once you are fortunate enough to get them you must take advantage of them and use them as a tool for reaching your goals for the future.As many opportunities we grasp as many hardships we eliminate for the rest of our lives.Sometimes we don’t value or appreciate some of the opportunities we already have such as education where some people take advantage of it and some just let it slip away from their hands. Those who take advantage and use their resources wisely are the one’s who more likely are going to have a better future and joyful life. We determine our future,the only thing we do not have control of is death. Failure is an option, everyone is able to overcome obstacles if they put their minds to it.

    • Well said, Anita. I completely agree that these opportunities are rare and we must truly seize them because there is no certainty that we will have another chance to prove ourselves. Improving the important skill set of public speaking can only benefit us in our future endeavors. Life is too short to hold our selves back because of fear.

  63. Homie In The Hood Knows What’s Good.

    1) The anxiety of public speaking is very prevalent in the lyrics of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” music video. Eminem describes the typical feelings that are correlated with anxiety and nervousness; the same feelings he experienced first hand when he initially began performing on stage. One major difficulty people have with speech anxiety is the constant problem of over thinking the situation and essentially psyching oneself out. People will put so much focus on what could go wrong (i.e. forgetting what they have written) that they eventually convince themselves enough to the point of manifesting their thoughts and actually forgetting parts of their speech; regardless of how much time they spent preparing. Eminem expresses and emphasizes throughout the song that it takes constant practice, dedication, and perseverance to master the skills needed for public speaking; thus ultimately succeeding in delivering the message you are trying to convey to others.

    2) My biggest anxiety with regards to public speaking is being able to deliver a clear and concise message efficiently. My thoughts are very sporadic; in the essence that I can find multiple tangents that will stray my ideas and focus away from the initial subject, whatever it may be. I do get nervous during the first couple of seconds before giving a speech, but those nerves are geared more towards the thought of embarrassing myself while walking in front of the audience and the silence of the room that I will be speaking in. Group presentations are a challenge for me. I have always, and still do, prefer to work alone and present alone. I feel as though being apart of group presentations typically interferes with my own thought process and hinders my ability to express my thoughts or information correctly.

    3) I feel as though confidence is a one of the most important personality traits that a person should have. Having confidence allows you to seize any, and all, opportunities that life has to offer. In my own opinion, there is a direct correlation between having confidence and being “successful” as there is with lacking confidence and being “unsuccessful”. Speech giving and public speaking are an essential skill set that requires confidence to allow the ability of a person to learn. There are many resources that a person can utilize to master the skills of public speaking. One great opportunity is attending classes that are available for them at higher learning institutions; such as the Communications 1 class that is available at LAVC.

    • I agree with what you said about how “there is a correlation between having confidence and being ‘successful’ as there is with lacking confidence and being ‘unsuccessful.'” I believe that having confidence will lead to success and if a person lacks confidence, they are usually the ones who miss great opportunities that would’ve led them on to success in life, therefore they end up being unsuccessful. I also agree about what you said in regards to group presentations. I believe that your thoughts do get interfered due to either not having enough time to fully express your thoughts or focusing too much on the amount of time shared with the rest of your group members.

    • Emmy, I don’t think that you have anything to worry about.
      “My biggest anxiety with regards to public speaking is being able to deliver a clear and concise message efficiently. My thoughts are very sporadic…”
      You have made a very clear and concise evaluation of Eminem’s rap. He is grabbing for success, as are you, as are we all. I think we all want to better ourselves, or what are we doing here.
      We all need to reach out and grab onto that brass ring.

      • Hi Emmy,
        Being able to deliver the message clearly, and efficiently is also one of my fears. I am clumsy, therefore I always think I am going to trip when walking to the front. I do not like group projects either, even when my friends are in my group. I like working alone, because I can communicate the information correctly.

  64. Eminem’s Guide to Overcome Anxiety

    1) I thought Eminem’s video “Lose Yourself” correlates to that of speech anxiety and opportunity. Eminem’s opening lyrics “Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment would you capture it, or just let it slip” can be perceived as either wanting to overcome a specific fear in this case, speech anxiety, or continue to avoid it and miss another opportunity to overcome it. His other lyrics ” his palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy . . . he’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready,” illustrates how a person may feel when they are about to deliver whatever it is to an audience. These lyrics describe the normal feelings of speech anxiety.

    2) Whenever I am assigned to do a presentation, I tend to get nervous. Whether the presentation would be presented along with a group or not, I still cannot avoid getting nervous. I would immediately plan ahead on what I would present verbally to the audience. I would start writing on the things that I would say and then I would second guess myself whether or not whatever I wrote made any sense. The anxiety that I have with presenting to a group of people almost always influences my confidence in writing. When it comes to delivering the speech itself, my eyes tend to wander. I try my best to not make eye contact with anyone sitting in the audience. Whenever I do make eye contact, my anxiety kicks in and I tend to lose focus. I’d like to overcome this weakness and would like to be able to gain confidence presenting in front of an audience.

    3) I think seizing opportunities life brings your way is such an empowering phrase. Being able to take everything and anything in and trying to grasp a hold of it, is a good way to venture out in life. Taking risks are a daily habit in everyone’s life, or else no one would be living. I believe that seizing opportunities only leads to success. Failure does not exist, not unless the decision to not take that risk is the answer. Whether the outcome of taking that risk becomes a total disaster, or not, failure still does not exist because the decision to take that opportunity has been made. To enhance my public speaking skills, I have decided to take Speech/Communication 101 therefore, I am seizing an opportunity that I know will lead me on to success in life.

    • I too was initially going to comment on Eminem’s opening lyrics “Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment would you capture it, or just let it slip”. I agree with you that his question is pertaining to either accepting a challenge in life and overcoming it or avoiding that said challenge and missing out on any possibly opportunities. On your second paragraph, you mentioned that making eye contact distracts you during public speaking. I found that whether I am speaking to a very large audience or a more intimate room full of people, I always look just above the audience’s heads. Every now and then, I can make quick eye contact with a few people, but it only happens when I do a quick scan of the room. I personally feel that if I spend longer than 3 seconds making consistent eye contact with a single person, that I do begin to lose my train of thought.

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