Overcoming my fear of public speaking
From a girl who grew up in Pretoria , and used to walk home from school in her brown school shoes , to a women who is now writing this blog post from the business class lounge at Munich airport wearing beautiful brown leather boots.
My career started out as an announcer walking through the shopping aisles of a big supermarket chain announcing the in store specials , now I am walking around some of the most amazing places in the world. Not only as a Television presenter but as a speaker and Master of Ceremonies as well.
The journey to here has been a long road with many challenges and hills that I have climbed along the way.
What many people do not know about me is that as a youngster I was terrified of public speaking. As a student, I knew I needed to do something to grow and overcome this fear which was holding me back.
I couldn’t even stand up in front of my class to do a presentation. So I joined toastmasters to help me overcome my Glossophobia (my speech anxiety) . Toastmasters is a non-profit organization developing public speaking and leadership where Members learn how to lead meetings, listen, evaluate and communicate.
Little did I know that by making this change in my life, and by overcoming my fear,that it would steer my life onto this course.
I remember my first speech in front of many experienced speakers and I even remember what shoes I wore that day. I wanted to stand up wearing a pair of comfortable smart shoes so I borrowed my sisters navy pumps.
I was nervous, shaking and my palms were so sweaty. I had spent weeks practicing in front of the mirror to give a 3 minute speech about myself . Toastmasters requires that your first speech is about yourself which they say is an easy topic. I stood up there and spoke my heart out. It did feel like a lifetime but was in fact just under 3minutes. My first speech was done and dusted.
I felt an incredible sense of pride knowing that I was doing something to overcome my fear. I was conquering my phobia. I have carried on with toastmasters for many years and still to this day attend meetings in order to grow as a speaker.
Now as I leave Munich to headback to Cape Town, before flying to Bali to act as a Master of Ceremonies for a conference, I reflect back on my life and my sense of pride. Turning a fear into something that allows me to earn a living a travel the world.
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