I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned my absolute dread of public speaking. I often get nauseated, sweaty, and light-headed. I hate it. HATE IT! (I have done more karaoke in my life than should be legal, but anyone can sing badly in front of strangers when there’s enough gin.)
So. As you know, I joined toastmasters in June to work on this. I gave my first planned speech in August. I was so nervous! I had nightmares the night before about people booing me & throwing rotten tomatoes (it was kind of like that scene from the Princess Bride). The speech went well. I am funny, y’all (thanks for the spelling help Melissa!). AND, I didn’t even need any liquid courage (unlike with karaoke).
ANYWAYS. I kept at it. I did the impromptu Table Topics speeches. I filled a number of roles at meetings. And then, yesterday, I did speech #2. And I wasn’t (that) nervous. I had an outline that I’d been thinking about for a few weeks, and then I wrote up the text of the speech a couple of days before. I practiced a few dozen times (made the architect listen to me more than he wanted to, I suspect). And you know what?
It went well. (Again, I am amusing.)
And even more?
I liked it. I like telling stories (big shock, right?). This is so much better than high school speech class, which, after all, sucks (am I right?).
I am looking forward to my third speech. Now – I will fully admit that part of this is the desire to finish all ten speeches and get a certificate (I am very gold-star oriented) that says I am a competent communicator. But part of it that I actually enjoy entertaining people.
I know this is weird, but I am proud of me. A year ago, I would’ve said that public speaking was right up there in my top five fears (along with flying and being eaten by mutant garden spiders). I faced that fear. And I conquered it. And now, I’m going to gather my ragtag band of old appliances & go to the city! Or, perhaps schedule speech #3 and start thinking about entering a Toast contest. Whichever seems to make more sense at the time.