Please Raise Your Glass

I love to talk. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. I could do it all day. There is always something to talk about. Especially if you get me on a topic that I’m passionate about. However, it pains me to have all these great theories and ideas to share, but when facing a crowd I seize up and forget everything. Random words fall out of my mouth in an awkward octagon, causing my audience to give me looks of confusion and scratch their heads. I don’t think I’m as bad as Bridget Jones… but I’m not too far ahead of her either!

Last year I decided enough was enough. If I was ever going to get anywhere in life I needed to be able to address a group of people with grace, ease and leave them wanting more. I half heartedly googled for ways to learn, and then one day I came across a poster at work advertising Toastmasters. I bit the bullet and joined.

The name Toastmasters isn’t totally clear. No we don’t sit around drinking wine or mastering the technique of spreading Vegemite on our toast. We learn and practice how to public speak. Our group has a diverse range of members, from the very experienced to those with none at all. The best thing is that there is no judgement because we are all there for the same reason to help ourselves and as well as others.

At first I was nervous and it took me a few meetings before I pulled together the courage to present my first speech. It only had to be for three minutes about a topic I know best – me. It was harder than I thought to even write it, but I did and in the end it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Admittedly I read most of it out, but it was understood and the crowd found it interesting. The feedback was good and I felt a real sense of accomplishment. I was on to a good thing 🙂

Today I’ve spent the afternoon writing my third speech and have realised how important this is for me achieving my goals of doing what I love. Each speech there is a new element of public speaking to work on, but you can choose the topic. To help my studies in psychosomatic therapy, I have chosen to talk about the masculine and feminine sides of the body. What a great way to confirm what you know! It’s one thing to read it in a book, or listen to your teacher. It’s another to explain it to a group of people who may never of heard what you are talking about before.

So thank you Toastmasters, not only are you helping me to talk in front of others but you are helping me with my private studies!

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