Is writing about overcoming my fear of public speaking a safe choice?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by flightzealot, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. flightzealot

    flightzealot Member

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    Sorry for 2 threads in a row (just felt like this one needed a different thread). One question on the application is asking about "an experience that contributed to my character development and integrity". Would writing about how overcoming my fear of public speaking be safe, or would it make me seem like "not USNA material" because I had trouble speaking in public. Last question, does the USNA, prefer when the essay is creative or do they just want simple and direct answers (sort of like writing an english essay vs writing a research paper). I ask because mine is kind of a long winding (under the word limit) story of my reasons for attending. Thanks.
     
  2. billyb

    billyb Member

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    I like overcoming fear as a theme, especially if you have multiple examples and not just fear of speaking. Do you have any other areas of your life where you had to overcome fear to meet an objective? Sports? Football? Boxing? Picking the harder right over the easier wrong even fearing lashback? All of those are character building experiences.

    That is my 2 cents and take it for what it is worth.
     
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  3. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    Be sure that you can answer the question...how has the experience contributed to (1) character development and (2) integrity. Notice "and" so you need to explain how it impacted BOTH. If you can briefly explain the situation, show how it made you overcome some adversity and relate it to the impact on your character development/integrity, then it is acceptable. We (forum members) cannot judge your situation and know how it has impacted you...that is what you have to explain (in a concise manner) to admissions. Sometimes it is the unique situations that make candidates standout...public speaking isn't "easy" for everyone...so that is probably reasonable when addressing adversity...but how has that impacted your character and integrity? (rhetorical question)
     
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  4. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Like USNAbog08 posted, how does overcoming fear connects to character development and integrity? I could see some connections to character, but not integrity
     
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  5. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO Member

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    With respect to "creative" or "direct"..perhaps someone who has sat on or observed the Admissions Board has better insight, but I would remind you that several, perhaps a majority, of the Admissions Board consists of senior/mid-level Military Officers. Perhaps a generalization, but Military Officers are less likely to be moved by flowery prose and more likely to connect with a more direct style. ( I have been out almost 25 years and I was a "Bull" major at USNA, but still hate to see superfluous wording). Keep it short, sweet and too the point.
     
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  6. billyb

    billyb Member

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    In the Army we called it BLUF. Bottom line up front.
     
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  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan Member

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    Who doesn't have difficulty speaking in public? It takes practice like everything else.
     
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  8. time2

    time2 Member

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    ^^^ I agree, it is more the lack of experience vs. an actual 'fear' and as mentioned previously, has nothing to do with integrity. I would look for some other topic for your essay.

    Whatever you write about, learn to be brief and concise. No one is impressed by long winded essays that just talk around a topic.
     
  9. flightzealot

    flightzealot Member

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    I see. Ok thanks for the insight everyone. Ill keep it direct and to the point and Ill try to look for a different topic, to me though, public speaking wasn't just hard... I would get nausea before hand, excrete a gallon of sweat, and stutter like a maniac once up on stage lol.
     
  10. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    My recommendation is to don't overthink it. A question that sometimes I ask during an interview is what was your biggest failure and what did you learn from it. For me, I am asking the question for the reaction, not the answer. If you think about it, a typical SA applicants are successful and from good families. So more likely for these applicants to not have made any significant mistakes in their lives so far. Typical answer I hear is not making a sports team, getting a bad grade.
     
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  11. Swag

    Swag Member

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    My DS is completing his essay and asked me a question that I thought I would ask the forum. In regards to the portion of the essay that states...Describe a personal experience you have had which you feel has contributed to your own character development and integrity. He wrote about the experience of serving on several mission trips however, he feels that the 10 years he put into the boy scouts and achieving Eagle also has contributed to his character. From what I can see, the essay questions says "A personal experience". Am I correct that he should only stick to one not both experiences?
     
  12. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    I would agree with keeping it consistent with the prompt by submitting ONE experience.

    It is all about following instructions.
     
  13. dakine

    dakine Member

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    My only concern about this topic is that public speaking scares almost everyone. Perhaps pick a topic that is unique to you. Also, take a look at USNA's mission statement - does your essay explain why you would be a good fit?
     

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