Well, Tani, what Graciecat was certainly an excellent start. Sounds like you have a social anxiety. (I'm VERY familiar with this). I take xanax and the problem goes away. However, I wish that I had faced the fears early in life and learned how to deal with it without medication. Please learn from my regrets and try to overcome this without taking drugs. I'm almost 30, an engineer and often need to discuss things with other engineers over the phone. It's very nerve wracking at times. (Simply ordering a pizza can make me crazy!) I take xanax when I know it's coming. If I don't know it's coming, it's hit or miss. Xanax and I'm quite the engineer... no xanax and sometimes, it's amazing that I remember to zip my pants. Take some public speaking courses... maybe seek therapy for lack of self confidence, but don't take the easy way and take the meds. It's a great temporary fix, but will hinder you in the long run. Then again, maybe taking some meds a few times may give you the confidence to speak freely. From my experience, it's doubtful. I am so concerned with being right and not looking stupid, that I get too anxious to say anything. It's OK to ask dumb questions, hard, but OK. Perhaps, you could try asking questions to things that you already know the answer to. This way, you will ask exactly the "right" question and not look stupid. Meanwhile, you will get experience speaking in front of the class. I have learned in my years of being in the "real world" of a career, that very few people actually know the EXACT correct answer. They do exist, but they are not the norm. You'd be surprised at how many people aren't as informed as you are. Oh and one last thing.... people aren't nearly as interested in what you have to say as you think. I don't mean that sarcastically, but they aren't going to be talking about what a dumb question you asked later in the day. Asking questions, being wrong, being right... it doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does to others and their opinion doesn't matter too much, either.