This isn’t me!!! It’s one example of a Toastmasters Icebreaker speech – you only need to watch the first minute to see her concept was clearly out of the box! 😉
A couple weeks ago I scheduled my first author talk. Setting that date motivated me to get used to public speaking by committing to Toastmasters for a minimum of six months.
On Wednesday I gave my first Toastmasters Icebreaker speech. Those six minutes were some of the MOST nerve-wracking minutes of my life! After I spoke, I plopped down in my chair and felt vulnerable. I was incredibly embarrassed about my public speaking shortcomings, but I can’t deny I was proud as hell of myself!
I had come a long way from my psych unit hospitalizations.
I had practiced my speech “From the Darkness to the Light” close to thirty times without shaking. I spoke in front of my dog Lucy, in front of my family, and in front of my mentor, the President of our Toastmasters group.
During every practice run, I was still as a stone. But when I stood in front of the Toastmasters group on Wednesday, my body and voice shook like a freakin’ quaking Aspen tree the entire six minutes – even my face shook. My shakiness threw me off so much. I was totally humiliated, but at least I didn’t sprint for the exit!
Each speaker receives a few minutes of detailed oral feedback from the Evaluator immediately after the speech. In addition to that, she gets brief written comments from each group member to take home and review. Here are some of the following remarks that were given to me:
“I thought you had been doing this a long time, had I not met you first,”
“Excellent Icebreaker! Relax, enjoy, your story is compelling!”
“What an inspiration you are – I can’t wait to watch you growing in confidence as a speaker!”
“You are a natural speaker. You did not seem terribly nervous. Great material, and putting yourself into your speech. Relax! You are among friends!”
“No need to reflect on your nervousness when you’re on stage”
(At the end of my talk I apologized for being so nervous!)
I was going to post my speech here, but there was a glitch in the recording and it didn’t record. I’ll make sure I don’t have the same technical difficulties during my next speech so you can see if I shake like Elvis in his heyday…or not.
Here’s a sample from my practice session with my mentor…
Have you faced one of your profound fears lately? Do you plan to do so anytime soon? Please share!
Have a great weekend!
Dyane Harwood’s memoir is Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw. Birth of a New Brain will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017, and it’s available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon here; Kindle pre-sales are coming this summer!