This morning I delivered my very first speech at Toastmasters. I joined the group because I wanted to improve my public speaking skills. Pretty straight forward and kind of mundane, right? Maybe, but in the three short months between starting in January and speaking today, something big inside of me changed.
For several weeks, I’ve been struggling with exactly why I’m in this group. Today, after being reminded once again to project, so that everyone can hear me, I know. I don’t need to simply speak louder. I realized that the real reason I joined the group is this: I'm ready to strengthen my voice and use it to join the many people who make positive contributions in our world. I found my real "why!" Even more importantly, I could feel the spark of my "why" in my heart.
The next ah-ha that flooded through me was that just like practicing yoga has strengthened my body, practicing speeches will strengthen my voice. And, the sweet, dark chocolate sauce drizzled on top of the whole experience was that I knew the feedback I received from my fellow Toastmasters was exactly what I needed to hear as I began my journey through this new doorway toward speaking publicly. Suddenly I thought, "How cool is this?! I don't need to find places to speak to practice. I can practice right here and receive constructive comments to boot!"
Practice. It's not sexy, often not fun, almost always humbling and yet it's at the crux of expressing our passion from the core of our true selves.
What are you practicing?
Know that whatever you're practicing, that is what you're getting better at doing.
In the spirit of knowing ourselves,
P.S. Thank you Yaquina Toastmasters!