I believe that I am a better writer than a speaker. Why? I know because I hardly have any problem organizing my thoughts and putting my thoughts into writing. However, when it comes to impromptu speeches, I always grope for words, and most of the time I stop in midsentence and make a long pause during the speech.
I remember in high school that I always have high marks in English composition. Even though I was a champion orator back in high school, I mess up in extemporaneous speeches. There was one time, a few years after I graduated from college, that I was invited to speak to an audience. I was on the stage facing an audience and I forgot what to say. It was actually my fault because I did not prepare for my speech. I could not remember what I said to my audience at that time. All I remember was the thought and feeling of being really embarrassed. I felt so ashamed of myself at that time and I felt so sorry for the person who recommended me to give the speech.
Because of that incident, I developed a phobia of speaking in front of an audience and decided that I will stick to writing than speaking to an audience. I also noticed that when I speak even in casual conversation, I sometimes stop in midsentence. I suddenly forget what I was about to say. I knew I had to face and deal with my fear of speaking in an audience and also improve my skills in verbal communication and in leadership. It is for this reason that I joined the Toastmasters Club.
Tonight, during our Toastmasters meeting, I was asked to speak extemporaneously for 1 to 2 minutes in front of my fellow Toastmasters. I was nervous and scared. The memory of that embarrassing moment a few years back filled my mind. However, I did not allow my fear and that bad memory from speaking in front of my fellow Toastmasters. I delivered my speech as best as I can. As usual, I did stop in the middle of my speech. I panicked a little bit, but I was able to compose myself, collect my thoughts and deliver my speech, I think, well, and within the time limit that they gave me. Whew! What an experience!
I am grateful and proud that I was able to face my fear and conquered that fear at that time. Even though I still have a long way to go of becoming a competent communicator, I am already on the process and on the way of becoming an effective and competent speaker.
I am grateful for the experience, for the help and support of my co-Toastmasters, and for the permission I gave myself to learn and improve my communication skills. To everything that happened today that helped me take one step towards becoming an effective communicator and a leader, I am truly grateful!