Let’s Give a Toast to the…
Posted on November 14, 2012
I often feel like I created myself. Rewind. I often feel like I’m creating myself. For the first eighteen years of my life I was my father’s creation and in no way is that a negative thing. In fact, my current creation is an evolution from his work. Taking the torch where he left off.
I recently became a member of Toastmasters International, a public speaking and leadership organization that has chapters all over the globe. As a child, my father often forced me to attend these public speaking competitions, but due to “growing up” and obtaining the idea of worrying what other people think, my confidence in public speaking decreased. Toastmasters International was an opportunity to rekindle that flame and excel not only in the organization, but also in life.
Public speaking is crucial in everything you do. Whether you’re going for your first interview or introducing a major speaker or speaking during a business meeting. Word usage is key and it has always interested me how a few simple words can transform not only a human being’s feelings, but can motivate a nation. President Obama is seen as a great orator and before him Bill Clinton. I could only hope to be as good as those two, but I’m on my way.
This past Friday, I gave my first speech and I was utterly frightened. I had read and reread my speech several times. My goal wasn’t to memorize it because I heard through another public speaking class that I had during college that memorization is not always best, because your mind is set to remember the orders of the words. In this scenario, if you mess up, it is harder to get back start where you left off. What I learned is best is too simply remember bullet points. This forces you to know the ins and outs of your speech.
Before the meeting, I walked all over Times Square going through the lines in my head and every trial was failure. Now here I was standing in front of these people about to speak and it went…fantastic. Nailed it.
Okay, nailed it might be an over shot, but I got a surplus of positive comments than constructive. I felt like I was sweating bullets—a term I never did understand—, but according to the notes that I got back after the speech; I was well poised, spoke loudly and audibly, but the constructive feedback that I received was slurring of my words and I could have had a better ending.
I was pleased with myself with the results, but in no way is this the end; I plan on becoming a competent speaker. Also I have yet to do table topics—an impromptu speech—and that frightens me the most.
So here’s too evolution and horrible endings!