I am facing my fear of public speaking…again. I am re-engaging with my Toastmasters club and accepting speaking engagements. Whether it’s five minutes or 30 minutes, I am facing the fear. Speaking at a larger event also means I have to pretend to be an extrovert.
Truth be told, I am an introvert. My energy comes from being by myself and not with other people. If you’re not sure, ask yourself what you like to do on a Friday evening. If you like to go out with friends, you’re an extrovert. If you go home to be alone, you’re an introvert.
Being an introvert also makes it nerve wracking to speak in public. If I want to meet my professional goals I need to face my fear of public speaking. That’s why I joined Toastmasters.
I learned a secret from my Toastmasters mentor Mike:
You can’t get rid of the butterflies but you can make them fly in formation.
Mike has been a Toastmaster for more years than he would like me to mention. He still gets butterflies. You might think that wasn’t comforting to learn but it was. I would never have known he has the fear too. That’s how well he gets the butterflies to fly in formation.
The next secret I learned was that a speech is merely a blog post that is spoken. There is an opening, three points and a conclusion, at least for us beginners.
If I can blog in this format, I can learn to speak in this format.
As a blogger I can throw a speech together in my sleep. Then I have to practice so the butterflies fly in formation. Learning the second secret made me feel like I was already 50% of the way to victory!
Whatever your fear, you must face it.
Please note: If your friend tells you skydiving will cure your fear of heights they are just f–ing with you. Skydiving will not cure your fear of heights. I suppose the act of skydiving is facing the fear of heights – to the extreme.
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