Standing Before the Crowd

On the general list of peoples greatest fears, the top 2 are Death & Public Speaking, the order is up to you. To conquer fear, you must dive head first into the pool of public speaking; this was nay possible before, unless you stood on a soap box in the middle of the street and screamed “THE END IS NYE!” (please do not stand on soap boxes and proclaim that here, for it is a one way ticket to jail, then probably deportation).

Now however, it is.

Better Books & Toys Cafe Kuwait (link), through its Toastmasters club, gives you the opportunity to overcome your fear of public speaking, and add new skills to your repertoire in the form of leadership qualities, self confidence etc.

(Side Note: Toastmasters are NOT in any way shape or form linked to TOASTING, which is what you do with a glass in hand and a group of friends at a wedding or ceremony!)

I had journeyed out last Friday morning to attend this gathering, held in the wee hours of the morning, although BBTC were gracious enough to offer water, juice, donuts and breakfast, to help the early riser keep their eyes open.

A brief intro followed, given by the seasoned Toastmasters, who come from every walk of life imaginable, bonded together by their love for public speech.

Maxine, the light-hearted, quick on her feet, owner/proprietor and lead girl scout of the BBTC made an announcement, there would be a show down with all the seasoned TM, whereby each would be given a word they had never heard before, and asked to use it continuously in a speech.

The words were, if memory serves: Blooter (blundering fool), Craven (coward), — pasty (a lier – can’t remember the first word!), Balderdash (nonsense) and Lily Livered (coward as well).

It was hilarious to see speakers go on and on about a word believing they had cinched the meaning properly, only to find out in the end that it was in fact the EXACT opposite!

Having watched four people go up and speak, I felt motivated to overcome my fear and join in the ruckus, so with the word “lily livered”, I made my way to the stage and stood before the sea of people, to give my first public speech.

It was very, very refreshing. I do not mind making a fool of myself, and I do not mind embarrassment, so I was in my element. I was told I fell 4 seconds short of the required time to qualify, however little do they know that I MEANT to do that, in that 4 is my lucky number!

The Toastmasters club meet every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month, 9am sharp (time is of the essence). You may sit as a guest or join as a toast-junior/ toast-apprentice/ toaster-coaster.

It is definitely worth your while.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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