I just declined a speaking engagement.
Whenever I have spoken publicly before, I forgot to breathe, and my voice got all breathy and quivery, and my neck got red blotches, and when I got finished my friends were like, "... um... are you OKAY?! What's wrong with your NECK???"
And besides my obvious physical deformities, I have this condition wherein it is actually painful to me to witness someone embarrassing themselves or otherwise in an uncomfortable public situation.
I recently sat through a presentation where the speaker was showing the same signs I mentioned above. She was breathing irregularly and I could tell she was trying desperately to control the quivering in her voice. She was obviously VERY nervous, and I actually started sweating in sympathy for her! I briefly considered tackling her and dragging her off the stage to rescue her from her/my misery, but I chickened out.
I wring my hands and bite my lip for the bad acts on America's Got Talent.
And thinking about putting an audience through that discomfort because of my blotchy neck ailment makes me breathy and sweaty all over again.
The weird thing is, I'm not shy at all. I actually chased down a woman at Walmart last week to ask her how she did her hair. I'm a talker. And a partier. I love rooms full of people and being the center of attention and chit-chat, and I can spin a fantastic story. But, put a microphone in front of me and I choke up!