It finally happened. I gave my public speech.
Thank you, dear readers, for putting up with the previous blogs throughout my preparation. As promised, I’m here to report back. (Sorry about the photo quality. I had no control over picture-taking.)
While I had spoken at my local club before (twenty members), this speech took place at Toastmasters Division — an audience of 150 people.
Before taking the stage, nervousness came often like the flick of a light switch, forced out by many deep breaths. The butterflies refused to fly in formation, playing havoc with my body temperature — hot one moment, freezing the next.
When The Chair called my name, I had no choice but to ignore everything unrelated to the speech. Either that or run for the door. The first step was hard, the second not so bad. Once the words took mercy on me and came out, the gestures and eye contact followed. To my surprise, everything gelled together beautifully.
The speech “Happiness Right Now,” centered on the idea of marketing concepts designed to delve into our psyche; the theory of 95% dedicated to marketing (visual textures, colorful lights, music) and 5% of capital to quality.
The call to action, something every speech must incorporate (I’m told), concluded: “it’s up to us — all of us — to decide quality matters.”
Applause never sounded better, mostly because the sound signaled The End. One hurdle cleared, many to go. And only at the end of my speech, the pesky butterflies settled. I was mentally and physically drained, but it didn’t matter anymore. I was done.
You know what else I learned? Or re-learned? As writers, and generally speaking, we have to put ourselves out there. What’s there to lose? Maybe complacency? :)
So tell me, when was the last time you put yourself out there?