I love Toastmasters. I joined Toastmasters to increase my public speaking skills. I presented three speeches to this group so far. With over 25 weekly members, the calendar for public speakers fills up quickly.
Whether you are already a member of Toastmasters, thinking about joining a chapter or simply curious about public speaking, there will be a golden nugget and insight for you as you reflect upon this extraordinary story. This experience happened to me at the previous Toastmasters meeting only a couple weeks ago. Looking back, I clearly see how it accelerated my awareness of my public speaking potential.
As you read this story, imagine being the character practicing your public speaking skills. How would you act? how would you feel? What would you think? And, what would you have done?
This is what transpired...
I received an email from my Toastmasters group “Noonshiners.” They were looking for a volunteer because a slot just opened up for a public speaking engagement the following day. I’ve been practicing my speech to be presented at the end of September for three weeks now and felt ready to take on this challenge. So I volunteered and added myself to the Toastmasters calendar.
When I was thinking about what to write to you this week, I thought of one of the most difficult times in my life. A time so difficult, I realized my fear of public speaking changed from a big giant in my life to a tiny, little piece of dust. As a career coach, I am confident this information will be valuable for interviewing, networking and negotiating as well.
Do you have a fear of public speaking? Have you ever wanted to be a trainer, but your fear of public speaking has prevented you from applying for the job? Or, maybe you have a story to tell. A story that will help others, but your fear of public speaking has prevented you from telling your story to groups? Is fear of public speaking your answer to the question Whats your biggest weakness? FYI! Only use this answer, if you dont need it for the job. All these things were ME, many years ago. Can you relate to this today? It could be hard for those who aren't native English speakers to speak publicly, so might look for help from somewhere like Effortless English accent training to help an improve their English.
Did you know that most of us started out with this fear? Well, in 1997, I had just gone through an experience that was bigger than my fear of public speaking I knew my fear of public speaking was about to end in comparison. However, I still needed to prove it to myself. So, this is what I did. I applied for the trainer job I always wanted and created a marketing campaign for my first public speaking engagement. I was ready.
My vision started pulling me many years ago (long before I was aware) when I had a fear of public speaking. You see the companies I wanted to work for told me it was required to facilitate workshops first in order to be a coach. It was common in the industry. So for a long time I just didn’t bother applying for the jobs when I learned this. Can you relate?
Later, whenever I saw a trainer position available, it would jump out at me. It would give me a nudge. I noticed it, but I wouldn’t pay attention to it because it required getting up in front of a group. Eventually, I would land the interviews and sabotage each one over and over and over again. I would start out doing great in the interview. When the interviewer started describing the job to me and I saw myself standing in front of a group of people, the fear would overcome me with an internal panic and I would sabotage the interview. It was very subtle. I didn’t even know I doing this. However, I do remember thinking back in 1995 over 15 years ago “I not going to get up in front of that group.”
Today, I know there was clearly something trying to emerge from within my soul. My passion, my purpose. What I didn’t realize was I was in an internal war between my EGO and my soul’s purpose, my true vision, my destiny.