You were not yet feeling comfortable to make the speech you were asked to deliver. So you politely said no.
This is not the first time you had said no. You have been doing it all along. And the sad part is that every time you refused you also felt that you had just avoided one more opportunity to make a good impression.
In fact you always had good knowledge about the topics given to you, yet you couldn't develop the courage to say yes. Irony is that, though you would love to speak in public, you keep avoiding all the opportunities that come in your way.
Whatever you call it but deep inside you know that it is not something you want to live with for the rest of your life. You certainly want to get out of it but don't know how? As a result, perhaps you might have already assumed that this is something specific to you.
Before you begin to blame your own shy nature, psychology, parents, schools, teachers, other bullies’, or some other person or circumstances, understand that you are not alone.
In fact most people have fear of public speaking. It is world’s most dreaded fear according to statistics of many researches done on the issue.
It may give you some comfort to know that you are not alone but that doesn't solve your problem.
Following are some insights on the issue and how you can solve your problem of nervousness in speaking in public:
Here is a real life example of John Simpson (not real name but incident is real).
You may be able to relate with John's problem. If you do then you would also be able to resolve it as John did.
John had changed his job recently. The new Job was exciting. Though was appointed as a Sales Engineer, his boss had given him one short assignment of doing some statistical work to analyze. He was given a week to complete it so that from the next week he can get on his normal job of selling.
His boss after giving him the assignment had gone abroad for 4 days of business travel. John had liked the assignment. He got fully involved in the data crunching as a result he was able to make good analysis.
When his Boss returned on day 5, John had already finished the job. At around 10 am boss called him in his cabin and asked him the status. John instantly presented his findings with enthusiasm and excitement. Boss was damn pleased. He praised John and said, “Great job John. Thank you."
John was very happy as It was his first assignment in a new job and he was able to create a good impression on the boss.
An hour later Boss came to John's desk and told him that he is so impressed by his analysis that he wants John to brief the management team at 12:00 noon.
This was a great opportunity for John to create first good impression on the entire management team meeting but John said no to the offer. His Boss was puzzled. He couldn't understand the reluctance. He tried to persuade John but by understanding John's body language which clearly was reflecting extreme fear, boss said: It is OK. "I will do it".
Boss left but John was still frozen. Not only he let the great opportunity pass by, he also couldn't understand why he said no? He was wondering what stopped him to present his finding to management team of 6 people particularly when he was able to deliver it to his boss with ease.
Can you relate to John's problem?
If you are still reading then perhaps you are able to relate to his problem.
OK so let us move forward and solve the problem by first defining the problem with clarity and then solving it.
Take a moment. Stop reading and think.
You will find that John is visualizing something that is his own creation. He thinks that he will not be able to do it. So he says no.
His drawback is "just lack of experience of speaking in public."
He has so much of experience of talking on one on one basis but has no or insignificant experience of addressing large gathering. That is why he is reluctant.
Remember, lack of experience is not a psychological problem. it is just lack of experience.
It can only be resolved by gaining experience. And to get experience you have to talk in public. You are comfortable or not you have to do it. So go ahead and speak in public. You may not do well initially - don’t bother. On the other hand you may surprise yourself by doing a great job of speaking in public.
If you still feel reluctant then take up a public speaking course where you will get the required experience.