Yesterday, and for the first time in my life, I planned to talk in a non-toastmaster, non-work related event. The reasoning behind that was that as a person who claims to be a good speaker, I should be able to talk in front of anyone. Well, things didn’t go that way.
You see, I arrived at the venue and the crowd was bigger than any crowd I had attempted to speak in front of. It was a social scene , so the crowd really was not there to listen and finally there was no stage, which made it hard for one to get people’s attention.
The people who spoke before my slot were not being heard, and so as the time went by I got more nervous. You see, to me it is one thing to make a mess of a speech in a Toastmasters event. The members are your friends, and it is an environment where one should learn. But, in public it is a afferent story. You are actually speaking because you are the designated experienced speaker. They called you to speak because they assume you are good at it, so you can’t make a mess of it. So as I waited for my turn my stomach started to flip. I suddenly realized my speech was too dramatic and too serious for the crowd. I started wondering what I should change about it on the spot, mentally shrinking it to half of what it is meant to be.
Thankfully it was only yesterday that I realized that God and the universe probably believe that I am a good person, because fortunately my speaking slot was postponed for another time due to a failure in the sound system. I was thankful and re-born a believer in the good in life, no I’m kidding. i am not that bleak, I always did believe in the goodness in life. But I will say that I was relieved. I realized that I have the time to adapt my speech to fit a more carefree crowd.
However, I learned from this that one should always know where they are speaking, and who they are speaking to. It cost me my nerves for the evening, but still it was a lesson worth learning. I also learned that i am not someone who is as comfortable with her speaking abilities as I thought I was. It is good to realize that when you are not speaking, maybe I still need to practice.
I always say that it is better late than never to discover a weakness.