It's not often that I become nervous when speaking in public, but yesterday was one of those rare occasions. It was the oddest sensation -- I nearly lost my nerves by my captivation of the phenomenon. Suddenly, my audience seemed to zoom far away, as if I was now trying to reach listeners from a great distance. My consciousness seemed to rush backwards, as though further still from my intent audience. My voice and whatever part of the brain that controls what I say felt separated from my consciousness, while my voice seemed to echo back at me as though coming from some other person. I felt as though I was a part of the confused audience, waiting and trying to make sense of what "I" was trying to say, and wondering what was coming next.
My secret? I started crying in front of the audience. They all thought that I was crying because my story was so personal and touching, but I think that I started crying because I lost my nerve in the sea of eyes and ears fixed upon me.