• Martina Dragúňová

How To Be Cool Under Pressure

June 2017, shortly after 9 a.m., Computer Science Class

Who’s next?” Everyone hopes the teacher won’t call their name.

May I?” I raise my hand and they look at me, shocked.

Sure,” says the teacher, surprised, as much as the others.

I stand up straight, take a deep breath, and go to the projector. I am ready to make a presentation on mental illnesses and diseases. It is a really tough subject to present in front of bored, annoyed teenagers, on top of all the hard-to-remember words on the subject. I start to speak although I read the theory just once while my friends had been learning everything word by word.

The presentation went without a problem. The teacher even told me I knew what I was talking about and I got a 100%. I seriously read it just one single time. What I think made the difference was the way I presented myself. I was confident and looked like I knew everything; what of course just seemed that way.

I tried to explain what I knew to my classmates and to the teacher. I looked straight into their eyes without fear. Because I was not afraid. I was smiling because it felt really good afterwards. I was calm, I really was.

I often think differently than those around me but I don't mind saying it in front of many people. I have learned to stand up for myself anytime needed.

Such as Maroš Kramár at the time I met him. He seemed cool and relaxed. He entered the door with a nice smile, which he kept during the whole interview. He thought about his answer and replied as if it was something completely natural to him since he was born.

No matter how crazy it sounds, me, Tina, the girl who was for a year or two afraid to say her opinion in front of a class, was not afraid anymore. I recalled how cool Maroš seemed, how he was enjoying every second, no matter if it was just a discussion or an on-camera answer. I knew at that point that I want to be able to make the same impression also.

Time has passed and I now like talking in front of people and if I am nervous I do take it as a challenge. As Kramár said: “One must overrun fear as far as you can go.” (Treba prekonávať strach až kam dokážete zájsť.”)


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