Toastmasters: shaking in my boots just thinking about it
May 11, 2008
Does anyone else turn stupid when they get nervous? Boy, I sure do. Specifically, I still get really nervous, and stupid, whenever I’m faced with speaking to more than one person at a time, or when I feel intellectually outclassed. It’s not 100% of the time, but it’s still a high enough frequency that if it hasn’t already, it’s going reflect quite poorly on my true abilities.
In light of my revelations about the workplace and deciding to address my weaknesses like my poor political skills, I’ve got to admit that my fear of public speaking continues to plague me, and
exacerbates otherwise manageable insecurities. If I weren’t so nervous about the act of speaking, I would be able to organize my thoughts and respond quickly and coherently. I find myself thinking of the right answers hours later, and obviously that’s much too late. There was a time that I was quicker on my feet, and I’m fairly certain that it corresponded with a higher degree of self confidence and strong morale. Since I can’t do more on the morale front at this very moment, it’s time to address and eradicate the nervousness from my life. It’s fine to be nervous when I don’t know my stuff, however, more frequently, I do but allow the nervousness to block that out. I need to build my self confidence, and that’s only going to happen if I overcome this limitation.
*deep breath* The more nervous I am about this decision, the more I know it’s the right thing to do. I need to join an organization that will help me learn how to speak in a public forum with grace, confidence and intelligence. I need to face this demon square on, because avoiding it or pretending that I’ll overcome it with age, and alone, will not work. I’m 25, and it’s time to learn how what some kids in first grade can do: present myself without fear. As Plonkee said, it might be harder to learn things as an adult, but it’s well worth the effort.
Since I don’t know anyone currently in Toastmasters or who has been in the organization, I don’t know if that’s exactly what I need, but it seems like a good place to start.
If anyone has other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!