I really should sit and write a proper blog entry in the next week or so. This has to be short because it is late and I have to be at work tomorrow morning. I was just reading over the blog in an effort to get an overview of my written observations on my study over the last 15 months or so and I was reading about my post earlier this year about trying to speak up more in seminars. I suddenly realised that it has become easier to make contributions to the group discussions in seminars! It really has. I do still feel my face redden and my heart start beating faster when I think I might have something to say, but it is less scary than it was a year ago or even 6 months ago. I think that as I am (a tiny little bit) more relaxed about it than I was that I can choose my time more carefully and give myself more time to organise my thoughts before opening my mouth. That in turn, tends to reduce the pressure on me when I do actually speak.
I feel that I have managed to make many contributions to the seminar discussions this term. The group has been a particularly interesting and engaging gathering of people this term so I suspect that has helped. My experience just goes to show, though, that by sheer perseverance and practice it is possible to get better at really scary stuff.