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Word Count: 514
My mouth refused to open My legs quaked beneath me My eyes darted around the audience A sudden stillness enveloped me Everything seemed peaceful except for the uneven pounding in my chest which pulsated in my ears The pressure was unbearable Closing my eyes I inhaled deeply and tried to calm my escalating fear Still my lips would not budge My face felt red-hot even as cold sweat soaked every inch of my body I couldnt recite a single word of my three-word speech I felt humiliated My debut in the sixth-grade class production was a failure Growing up I had endured a myriad of humiliations but this one was different This one happened in front of the entire school I like many other children craved the spotlight yet also feared it As I stood there frozen into a block of ice I felt defeated Since speaking parts were mandatory I had already received the most minuscule role in the entire play My role was quite simple fifteen seconds of silly jumping on stage and projection of three words out into the audience Yet no matter how many times I practiced my simple line I bombed when my moment of fame arrived Each time I turned into a lanky lighthouse my red face beaming for all to see My mouth refused to open and send forth those three words My failure cost me dearly My peers teased me without mercy for weeks My shame left a powerful imprint in my mind When I entered ninth grade I was determined to break out of my shell and challenge my fear of public speaking With encouragement from friends and family I enrolled in a debate class On the first day of the course I didnt know what to expect but I quickly apprehended that class participation was mandatory Throughout the first semester my teacher slowly and patiently chipped away at my fear of speaking I gradually discovered
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