They saw right through me for the fraud that I am

This is exactly as I’ve felt many times when thrust in front of respected peers. Mind goes blank. Mouth goes dry. My train of thought went south when I thought I was going north. Mortifying.  I’ll never get in front of any audience ever again.

Yea… I’ve said that to myself many times, but I’ve never been a quitter. I took a speech class back in college because it terrified me. It certainly was a terrifying, but a positive experience. I got an “A” and never wanted to do anything like that again.

In my mid twenties I was asked to teach graphic design programs at Lakeland Community College. That thought was incredibly intimidating. So, after much self-introspection, I did it. For 18 years, actually. But, it was MY environment. I controlled it, so I still had a sense of safety.

So, now and then, I find my introverted butt in situations where I’m supposed to share my expertise with others – WITH ALL EYES ON ME. Crap! Can’t I just send a collective email?! Not if you want to get to another level.

This is why I just joined ToastMasters

This isn’t a manipulative TM ad. I just came back from my first meeting a couple hours ago and felt compelled to write about it.

I’ve been meaning to join for at least 15 years (when I first heard of it). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized I have a need to be around positive professionals doing highly productive things as the days get shorter, colder and grayer.

I hit the jackpot. I had a great time at the Positively Speaking ToastMasters in Lyndhurst, Ohio.

While I can get by in most any speaking engagements with a planned speech, ask me something unexpected in front of an audience and sometimes I may throw up in my mouth a little. But, watching these members of ToastMasters slaying these spontaneous questions in the “Table Topics” blew my mind. Most admitted to being members for a year or less.

Needless to say, I’m joining. I really can’t wait to go back next Thursday… until I’m called upon, of course.

Share with your network!

As Captain Picard says, "Engage!"