When Killer Bees (and Nerves) Attack!

By Lana Walker


S he was found dead in the barnyard. Her face, bloated and blue, was beyond recognition. Her contorted body showed she had fought for her life. The ground was muddy, but there were no footprints except hers. 

Vultures flew above, waiting their turn. Her beloved dog, Max, stood vigil, barking at the nasty creatures.

Cause of death? 

Cause of death? Uh..."

My mind went blank. Anxiety hit peak state. With dozens of eyes fixed on me, I walked out of my speech class.

Now what do I do, I thought as I stood trembling outside the door. You can't just leave like that! What if I get in trouble? What if I flunk the class?

So I walked back to the lectern, shook off the nerve attack, and picked up where I'd left off. In gory detail, I warned about a new threat — the arrival of Africanized "killer" bees. My teacher and classmates said it was the best speech ever.


Over the years, I learned that although my delivery wasn't so great, the stories I told were still engaging. In an advanced speech class (glutton for punishment), I was nominated to represent my class in a speech competition. I spoke about plantar warts. (Yeah, I was floored too.)

You don't need to be the next Tony Robbins to be an effective speaker. I'm living proof.

TEDx, anyone?

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