I believe I mentioned that one of my brave May acts was to join the Toastmaster group that meets where I work. The Ambitious One was already a member, and although she wouldn’t allow me to come to meeting until after she’d given her first speech, she has encouraged me to attend.
But now, it’s official. Yesterday I gave them money. I am an official Toaster.
About ten years ago, I lived in LA. As you know. And I had a friend (just the one) that I hung out with ALL THE TIME. A lot. I’m pretty sure his neighbors thought we were an item, because I was always there. (We weren’t an item.) We had much fun together, but there were a few…quirks…that I liked to mock.
For starters, he was 10 years older than me. (Right? He was in his 30’s! That is SO OLD!) And had these weird ideas. And one of those weird ideas was that he should join Toastmasters so he could improve his public speaking skills. I’m pretty sure I mocked him every time he toasted. (We also referred to is as Toast – no master – because I also hate burned bread.)
So, here we are. Ten years later. And now, I feel like I should improve my public speaking skills. So I will be toasting twice a month.
So, you may be asking (if, indeed, you are still reading), why are you talking about this.
The reason, gentle readers, is that I’m absolutely, nauseatingly terrified of Toast (the organization, not the bread product – the bread product makes me feel mildly nauseated, but not afraid). Yesterday, as I walked to the meeting, membership application and check in hand, I wanted to turn, run away and hide.
And when the Ambitious One said (jokingly, I hope) that she was going to volunteer me to stand up and talk for one-two minutes, I almost passed out with fear. And then I threatened to vomit on her (also jokingly?).
My fear, it paralyzes me. I am in this club to get over the fear, but am afraid that the fear may prevent that. (It’s like when I was prescribed anti-anxiety meds to help with my flying anxiety, but the thought of taking them & getting one of the 11 million side effects caused a panic attack.) (It is possible I need help.)
So – any tips on how to get over the nerves? This is speaking in front of a small, supportive group. Not angry sharks who are both hungry and hate listening to speeches. I think that taking a valium at noon on a Tuesday might not work out as a solution. (I already went over the pros & cons of that one in my head.)
I want to be a successful toaster. and a person who doesn’t feel like vomiting when asked to speak. I feel that will be handy for my career.