Thursday, October 1, 2009
Sometimes we can't help being depressed. I was feeling that way today.
I had to give a speech for Toastmasters and I didn't think it would be any good. And the last thing I want to do is waste others' time.
This is the 4th speech I gave since joining Toastmasters. And there is a saying: Stage time, stage time and stage time. In other words, get up and speak.
So while I didn't know if my speech would be any good, in fact I was fearing a meltdown, it turned out that my speech was well liked. The topic was "New England". My wife, dog and I just spent our vacation there and enjoyed its tremendous beauty.
What I was able to accomplish in this speech is making eye contact. I'm sure I could have done better, but I spent time looking at an audience member in the eye, and then going on to another person. I had been critiqued before that that was one of my shortcomings.
Also, I said a few "ahs" and I said the same word twice four times. I wasn't even aware that that was a fault, and now I can take notice of it when I speak.
I wish that I had learned how to speak in front of people earlier in my life, but I'm ok that I'm just learning now. Sometimes I think it takes growth of experience, just to be able to speak in front of others.
Toastmasters is a good way to learn to speak in front of others. The group is supportive. I feel bad sometimes because when this one person is speaking I can't help laughing. I wish I wouldn't laugh but sometimes I just can't help it. I'm the kind of guy that starts to laugh at funerals, that's why I always try to sit next to an exit.
I hope that I could learn to be a dynamic speaker. There are certainly topics that I'm passionate about, and I would love to share this stuff with other people. It's public speakers who I respect most, probably because I so lack the skills in my own life. But as I give more speeches, I'll learn. Today, I actually felt comfortable in front of everyone, and I was able to slow down. And I did a little thinking on my feet that was not in the speech.