Public speaking is much more than getting up in front of people to talk.
Have you ever been in a situation where you wish you felt more confident? Perhaps it was a group discussion where someone asked your opinion and you had NO IDEA what to say? Hey, we’ve been there, too!
Or perhaps you have a cause. There’s someone out there that needs defending. You want to speak out about injustice or encourage others to just hang in there. THAT is what public speaking is all about.
I’ve been with Toastmasters since 2013, and the longer I stay, the more potential I see in public speaking.
Public speaking is like a roller coaster. At first, you’re excited about the challenge. Then, you get to the seats, and you realize that it looks a bit scary up close. After you ride it a couple of times, though, it’s all about the thrill!
Disclaimer: I don’t like roller coasters. Never got past the ‘Why would people want to throw themselves around like that and scare themselves to bits’ stage.
That said, public speaking is a different thing entirely for me. I used to be the person who never spoke up, never spoke out, never spoke. I just didn’t know what to say to people most times. That compiled with a childhood full of angst meant that I hoped people would just leave me alone.
BUT, there’s another part of me. One that cheers when someone speaks up for their rights. One that applauds when the underdog is defended. A part of me that has a lot to say.
Over the years, I’ve become much more skilled at speaking to people. It goes with my job, and I enjoy people a lot. That said, I still was a bit shaky in some situations.
Public speaking pushes me to a new level of confidence. I’m able to take the lead and speak my piece. It’s about public speaking, but it also ties in with leadership and self improvement. I’m no longer so nervous when I’m in a new situation.
I get asked a lot of questions about public speaking. Sometimes it’s from the people I mentor, but often enough, it just comes up during our great after Toastmasters meeting conversations.
Because I love to read (and write!) I’m putting together some articles here, that may answer questions that you have about public speaking. If you have more questions, stop in at a meeting, and find your answers!