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Posts Tagged ‘Public Speaking’

How I Accelerated My Public Speaking at Toastmasters!

How I Overcame Fear of Public SpeakingI love Toastmasters.  I joined Toastmasters earlier this year 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.

 

The next morning I checked my mail 15 minutes before I left the house to go to Toastmasters.  I received a letter from my mortgage company telling me they were going to stop my current pay plan. They said my bank returned their automatic withdrawal.  I don’t know about you, but for me, this was a big fear I needed to take care of as soon as possible. And this fear was a distraction to my public speaking engagement. Can you imagine what may have been going through your mind if this was happening to you?

 

However, in my mind, not presenting my Toastmasters speech was not an option for me.  So I practiced my public speaking one more time and was off to present my speech titled “Conversations with Doubt and Fear.”

 

I was number two of three people that signed up for speaking that day. I honestly felt my heart beating out of my chest as a couple of the members shook my hand to thank me for being a brave soul and volunteer at the last minute.  No one could know how nervous I was to present this speech today. But this time, I wasn’t nervous about my speech. My fear was from the letter I received from the mortgage company.  Can you relate to this? 

 

While I was speaking, I realized how much I was living the “Conversations with Doubt and Fear.” How real it all was as I spoke. I mean, I even had a line in the speech when Doubt and Fear said to me “Kim, your heart is beating so fast, you can’t even hear yourself speak.”  I was so aware of living everything I was speaking about, but it wasn't distracting .  It was almost like I was an observer in my own experience.

 

At the end of my speech,  everyone clapped their hands as I bowed, shook the Toastmasters hand and walked back to my seat.  I knew I connected well because everyone laughed when I said something funny.  I spoke without my notes, walked around the room with lots of eye contact to my audience of around 30 people.  I did it!

 

My Evaluator said “Kim you jumped five levels today from your last speech. You came across as genuine, natural, everything flowed, you weren't nervous at allAnd," she said "I learned so much from you. Everything was great. The only critique I even have for you is to pause a few more seconds before you ended the speech with thank you.” I couldn’t believe it. I never even heard a critique that good since I’ve been there.

 

Looking back, I realized so many things had to come into alignment for this to happen.

1. I volunteered at the last minute to do this speech three weeks earlier than planned.

2. I received a letter 15 minutes before going to present my speech from my mortgage company which drove my entire presentation.

3. I was speaking on the topic of “Doubt and Fear,” which again, accelerated my awareness of my speaking potential. 

Oh, and, by the way, the letter from my mortgage company turned out to be a computer error.

“Wow,” I thought, “how cool is all this.  How many things had to line up in the universe to make all that happen?”  The reason I am writing this to you is this… 

There is a reason to be grateful for everything in life, the good and the bad. 

I am so grateful I volunteered to be the public speaker at Toastmasters that day.  And, I am grateful for receiving the letter that filled me with fear and drove me to accelerate the awareness of my potential as a public speaker!

Here's another life lesson I learned while talking to my mentor. I told her I now have to write another speech as funny and impactful as that one. She said to me, "No Kim, it wasn't the speech, it was you. Whatever you did that day, do that in all your speeches."

As I write this blog, I realized two more nuggets for you as a take away…

1. When you are public speaking, be in the moment, think of a time that will put you in the same situation I was in that day. This is similar to what actors and actresses do when they are performing.

2. Begin practicing positive affirmations. I began practicing positive affirmations for all I want in my life. I started this three weeks prior to this event. One of my affirmations is "I am connecting well to my audience at Toastmasters." Could this also be a reason everything came into alignment?

 

As a Career Coach, my purpose, vision and goal is writing professional resumes and professional coaching. I am focused on Career Development and Life Coaching – helping you realize your true potential and lift the lid from your limiting beliefs! If you need help in these areas, you're welcome to call me to schedule an initial free consultation at 970-672-8476 or email me at kim@JustResumesUSA.com.  FYI! My next speech at Toastmasters at the end of September is “How to be Happy,” scientifically speaking.

3 Great Tips to Prepare for Public Speaking!

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 “What’s your biggest weakness?” FYI! Only use this answer, if you don’t need it for the job.  All these things were ME, many years ago.  Can you relate to this today?

 

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.

 

The event took place in the café at a grand opening of one of the local bookstore giants. The media was there along with my friends, business colleagues and people who heard about it throughout the community.  One of my friends videotaped my presentation.  Something you may want to do in the future. My motivation, at this time of my life, was to tell my story.  A story that led me to write the speech for my first public speaking engagement called “The Power of Positive Thinking.”  I was excited.  For me this was a huge event because I was conquering a big giant in my life.

 

This week, I would like to share with you the 3 tools I used when I knew I was ready to conquer this fear, get out there and tell my story. My purpose for utilizing these tools was to reduce my fear of public speaking.  Not only did these steps help me prepare for the public speaking engagement, they completely eliminated my fear … forever.  A fear I had for most of my life…

 

See below for the 3 Tips to prepare for public speaking …

 

Tip #1 Write a speech. 

 

Tip #2 Videotape yourself.

 

Tip #3 Practice, practice, practice.

 

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Tip #1 Write a speech.

In your script, highlight the words you want to emphasize with a highlighter and put dashes in between words where you need to pause.  This will help you practice reading your script and learn how to read a script without sounding scripted.  A tool for those of you in sales.  FYI! These are also great tools for you to use when you practice answering the interviewing question "Tell Me about Yourself" in your initial phone interview, as well. 

 

Tip #2Videotape yourself.

I reserved a room at the local library to videotape myself.  Today you can use a webcam.  Get dressed up in the outfit you plan to wear to your speaking engagement. Videotaping yourself will help you in many ways.  It will give you a tool to polish up and perfect your presentation skills.  Which, in turn, will give you the confidence to know, you look just fine.  After watching my first videotaping session, I decided to tape myself a second time. Just to make sure I fine-tuned everything. Do what works for you to accomplish your goals.  Do it with passion.

 

Tip #3 Practice, practice, practice

Here’s the fun part.  LOL!  Practice your speech out loud, to yourself, in the mirror, once a day, every day.  I started practicing my speech 2 months prior to the event.  Remember, use your time wisely and do what you need to do to accomplish your goals.

 

I promise you, these tips will be great tools to help you prepare for your initial public speaking engagements.  Do you have a success story you’d like to share? Please send me an email of your success stories or how I have helped you through my blog this year on public speaking preparation, interviewing, social networking or resumes.

 

Do you need immediate help with job interviewing, social networking or salary negotiating?  Or, maybe you're thinking about hiring a professional resume writer to help you write your resume.  I can help.  To email me a comment, ask a question or schedule a free initial phone consultation, please give me a call or contact me at www.JustResumesUSA.com.

 

You will find me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. For more weekly career tips on Career Coach Kim Blog, stay tuned …