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Monroe teen shows the power of speaking optimistically
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Matilda Weeden of Monroe, right, delivers a speech during the annual contest for deaf and hard of hearing students, sponsored by the Southern Wisconsin District of Optimists International, inside the Super 8 Hotel in Monroe Saturday. (Times photo: Anthony Wahl)
MONROE - Most people struggle with public speaking - the hands that turn clammy, the stomach that turns somersaults, the dread of suddenly drawing a complete blank or worse. The anxiety is so widespread that numerous online sources consistently cite the fear of public speaking as our top phobia, even above the fear of death, the fear of spiders and the fear of heights. It would stand to reason that someone who is deaf or hard of hearing - particularly a teenager - might be even more anxious about public speaking than a person with full hearing.

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