Last night I did my first speech at Toastmasters. Called the Icebreaker, it is literally all about you.
I’ve done public speaking before, such as the occasional sermon at church, but the nervousness never goes away. I’d written my speech beforehand, of course, and I knew what I was going to say, but you still hope the audience will respond well to what you have to say and won’t be bored.
It actually went pretty well, though, and I got a lot of favorable reviews. Toastmasters has you do ten speeches to qualify for you Competent Communicator certificate, formerly know as CTM, or Competent Toastmaster. A lot of the people who finish go on to do public speaking. Darren LaCroix is one of these.
If you haven’t heard of the organization before, check out the link above. I recommend it because it helps you build your public speaking skills, and more importantly, your confidence, in a supportive environment. Both are skills that come in handy. Maybe you’ll never address large crowds but confidence helps anywhere and there will be times when you lead a meeting or interact with a group of people you barely know!