08/21/2016 by Annie Chua
I had a fear of public speaking. Standing in front of many people, looking at me with various expressive faces while waiting to hear my voice made my knees tremble, my voice quivered, and my mind confused trying to assess the words which I was going to say next. In fact, these are natural experiences to most nervous novice speaker. I know how nerve-wracking and an arduous task it was. It’s much easier to sing in front of an audience than having a speech.
Therefore, to white-out the fear, I joined Toastmasters. Specifically to hone my skills in delivering speeches of all kinds, and especially focus on those that are extemporaneous. Right from my ice breaker speech the potential for self-discovery and the transformation of every delivery was enormously received. The constructive feedback from the evaluator has helped to balance filtering what would work and what’s not.
There are many benefits in this club, and if you would allow me to mention the three most beneficial changes that I had experienced.
There has been a noticeable positive change that came about in my life. It has made me aware of the level of responsibility I have to give back. There’s a realism of it’s not all about me, but it’s all about creating a positive community and the value of nurturing and supporting others. Networking and associating with positive people helps me realize the quality of their lives. Everyone listens with respect, and all strive for understanding. Words are very powerful tool. I use it now in a meaningful way to give positive impact in everyone’s life.
Since I joined Toastmasters, I developed a keen sense of listening and learned more vocabularies that I have never heard before and speaker’s authentic stories; inspirational, opinionated, personal, relevant topics and “clean” humorous jokes. Before, delivering a punch line on my jokes were difficult. And now, I’m proud to tell jokes in front of my family and friends. Of course, aside from avoiding the filler words such as ah(s), am (s), uhm (s), you know, so(s), and but(s) which I am continuously improving.
Success could be measured in once own view. In Toastmasters, achieving the level of being a Competent Communicator and Competent Leader are two of the primary goals. Accomplishing these give me a sense of pride and confidence in all my future speeches and this is just the beginning. Similar to climbing the corporate ladder, this is the place to develop leadership skills and aiming the first step could help me get ready to face my Dragon Dens moment.
Napoleon Hill author of Think And Grow Rich said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
I read this book more than 10x since 1992; those words were planted deep in my subconscious mind that I could not help myself to share with you the elements that have helped me achieved my goals.
#1 Time is an Essence
Time is the fundamental part of everything we do. LIVE Life as if it is your Last. Many successful people have been heard quoting these words in many of their encouraging speeches. Individuals who followed have gained success in life. With this in mind, it is likely that every day of our lives will be worthwhile and lived at its best. Let’s say when an opportunity knocks we think about it, study and weigh it in a manner where positive points level more than the negative. Always use the 80/20 rule. When I was writing my book, I listed five elements to share; I picked the best three which are most important ones. 3 is my 20%which will give me 80% impact to send encouraging messages to a reader like you. The number one element is your Time. Your present situation is your best time. Do not procrastinate on things that you would like to accomplish. When you take action today and look back a year from now. You would say “I did it!” and you’ll feel proud of what you have accomplished.