I woke up in the morning and my mind was still thinking about those few points. I was constantly going to the moment when I would be presenting and watching out for the feared words. Despite me realizing it, it was hard to control my mind going back again and again to that moment where I would block. I was thinking of strategies that I read from John's articles to apply in the situations where I felt I would stutter. And then I went to my first class, and had to speak with professor regarding the final project. At first, my mind was thinking about the words where I would block when speaking with him and then I told myself that I would be fine following John's techniques. So I went to speak with the professor. When I was about to speak, I was a little nervous and it showed in my voice. But once I started and continued and didn't stutter much after that.
My next meeting was with my project group just before the presentation. I rehearsed my part in front of them once. For the first few minutes, I was absolutely fluent. I had tried to slow down my pace by adding those pauses and emphasis in my speech. But still I was finding it hard to keep eye-contact. I realized it and once even looked at someone in the group. But when I anticipated blocking, I looked away and continued doing so.
Now it was time to enter the class and wait till the other groups finished presenting since ours was last. I noticed that my attention was on how would I be presenting and how would other people think of me once they saw me presented. How can I control their judgments of me? So instead of paying attention to other's presentation, I was constantly finding ways to make people like me. So mind was thinking that surely I'm gonna block and look nervous, but how can I do it so that my classmates like me.
And then it was our turn. I tried to appear calm and confident. I even took the clicker and felt it thoroughly. And then I waited with patience for my turn to speak. And then it was my turn. I took the clicker walked to the center of the stage and began with loud confident voice and pauses. The first few minutes went quite well. And then after some time I anticipated a feared word and then I tried hard not to stumble upon it. I managed to pass through it with little repetition, but it shook me a little. And now I looked a little anxious and then another feared work I anticipated and blocked on it and so and so it went. Then my part was done and I felt glad that it's over now. Even though I felt relieved for the presentation to be done, I felt a little humiliated with looking nervous and out of control. What must have other people thought about me? I can't even give this simple presentation??
But somehow there was less fear in me in approaching people now. I would just go to some person I knew and start talking to him or her. And what I said to seemed to be genuine and I felt good about it. Then I had to meet another group in an hour. And I felt comfortable meeting them and sharing my ideas with them. I didn't hesitate to give my ideas. The main blocks that happened were due to my anticipation of feared words and getting anxious about encountering them.
I also realized that my speaking pace was a lot faster now. Then I had to meet a second group and even though I appeared to be confident and I spoke a lot faster and again my tendency was to fight the blocks and also the moment when I anticipated blocking, especially on feared words. I tried to substitute my low control over my speech by telling people that I am this and I am that, showing my positive side to people so that they approve of me despite my blocking.
At last I came back home tired and felt my speech muscles are exhausted. In my mind, I was still wondering that how should I handle blocks. My options in not to stutter and speak fluently.
I also realized that why I always stumble on the phone saying "hello". It was because I already give the other person all power and control over the conversation. If I say "hello" with a slightly loud voice, or in animated tone I won't block.
For tomorrow, my goal is to maintain more eye-contact with people even during the moments of blocking and also to monitor my pace by adding pauses in between. And also, to continue with the observer role.