Winston Churchill

Life+Stuff: Public speaking

Something remarkable happened this week: I enjoyed speaking in public.

Winston Churchill
Learn to knock 'em dead like Winston Churchill

I have been going to Toastmasters for over a year now because I wanted to learn how to make a speech without sweating, giggling or having my voice go up an octave. For those of you that haven’t heard my voice, I sound like a muppet. Who has been sucking on helium. Who just got into very, very cold water.

I am not saying it was a good speech – quite the opposite, in fact. My presentation lacked structure, I laughed at my own bad jokes and I nearly swore several times.

On the upside, I tied for best speech, made some people laugh (most likely at me) and I managed to get up there without feeling like I was going to die of a heart attack.

If you are afraid of public speaking, I highly recommend Toastmasters. I’m a member of the Australian Young Professionals club that meets every second Monday at the Sydney Mechanic School of Arts on Pitt St.

If you’re interested in checking it out, please leave a comment on this post and I will email you to arrange times/dates.

Are you afraid of public speaking? Have you ever had a shocker? Or a total triumph that warranted a standing ovation? HOW DID YOU DO THAT?

6 comments on “Life+Stuff: Public speaking

  1. Wow Em, that’s bloody brilliant!
    I HATE public speaking. I have a completely realistic dread of combining all my words into one terrible long sound that none understands. And a less realistic fear of wetting myself out of fright. I wish I was good at it. I am proud of you for becoming good at it. There is a definite art to it.


  2. Good on your gorgeous!! I’m sure you killed it.
    I was packed up, ready to go and got slammed with something at work – but my application is in, dues paid and I’m ready to begin Monday week. Scared x 1000, but your positivity is motivating me.

  3. OK everyone – next meeting is Monday July 16th – meeting at 6.15pm at Level 1, 280 Pitt St – Sydney Mechanics School of Arts.

  4. Sorry I can’t be there but if this blog, dealing with you at HTO on the phone and your Aloha Downunder site are any indication, I am sure you will slay them. Here’s a bit of contrast.

    When I was a kid, I had a massive stuttering problem, fat to boot. A radio announcer took pity on me in my town and taught me how to modulate my voice. Through that training, a lot of discipline, joining the debating club and then taking on audiences by public speaking, I mastered speaking without stammering. I was scared spitless but spoke in front of hundreds and often a few thousand folks and it gave me courage… after I changed my pants.

    You go girl! Get on the good foot! Think about standup comedy too but keep up the Toastmasters. Would love to see ‘your act’.

  5. Hi Em,

    I’m interested to join or at least visit one of your meetings.

    Appreciate if you can help me get in. Thanks.


  6. Hi Cindy,

    I am no longer attending the AYP Toastmasters in Sydney City so I won’t be able to intro you personally. On the upside, they are the friendliest people in the world so if you just shoot them an email on, they will tell you when the next meeting is. It’s free for guests and open to everyone.

    Good luck!

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