I hate public speaking, so much so that just the thought of it would mess with my peaceful state of mind. I am not sure why, though I reckon it might have something to do with those horrors at school who skitted at me anytime I opened my mouth, making reading in class a living hell. I always thought I had gotten over the affects of my childhood bullies with the satisfaction that I have an amazing life but I guess they rear their nasty heads whenever I have to stand up and speak in front of people.
So as I mentioned in my last post, my darling wife told me all about Toastmasters and last night with the encouragement and persistent reminder from Mr C, I went for the first time.
I was shitting meself, like omg, will I have to stand up, will they do an icebreaker, fuckin hate icebreakers! As I was walking towards the clubhouse with all this negativity flowing through my mind, something on the pavement caught my eye and these lovely messages appeared “we love you” and “stay positive.” Now I’m not a complete lunatic (well almost) and don’t think that the good old universe placed these messages there because it knew I would be walking that way into what felt like a Lion’s den (or maybe it did); no doubt someone had wrote it there to give a loved one a boost but they made me smile, have a word with myself and put me in a much better place for the meeting.
I entered the hall, found a seat and tried to look as small as I could so I would not be chosen to talk. No such luck! The chair gave a brief on Toastmasters and informed all new guests that they would have to stand up, introduce themselves and say why they are at Toastmasters. He ended with “now that your heart rate is racing, let’s begin.” How did he know my heart rate was racing, maybe it’s not just me that gets this wound up about public speaking. Fuck my heart rate is racing, “calm down nobhead, you know your name and why you’re here, just stand up and speak when your name is called” (my inner warrior’s idea of a pep talk)! She was right though, my name was called, I stood up, introduced myself, told the audience why I was there and sat back down. It was fine, I survived, I didn’t go to pieces, I got my words out and I was confident the audience heard my name and why I was there!
Everyone else did the same and it was reassuring to see I was not the only who was nervous. There was people there at all levels of public speaking, from all over the place. I sat next to lady from New Zealand (she is an interior designer and artist, how cool), one of the speakers was German and there was a fellow Brit bird from Liverpool (she couldn’t believe I was from birkenhead “you sound dead posh”)!
We did various activities surrounding speeches, getting tips and advice from seasoned Toastmasters. My fave advice was from the German lady who said “take part in the speaking roles as much as you can, if you don’t, it’s like going to the gym and not working out!” How very true. So I am now committed and will be going again next week, might even volunteer to do a table topic speech…….or maybe not, let’s see eh!!
In other news, this weekend is my birthday weekend woop woop. I am gathering some fabulous ladies together and we are going ‘out out’. A couple of my friends are coming from Edmonton, we would cause carnage on our ‘out out’ nights there! Must remember, this is my last year in the 30’s club; I am a sensible, responsible adult, who can pace her drinks and hates wasting weekends away recovering in bed!!