Last week I wrote about Toastmasters and how it gave me a weekly booster shot of stage time. That kept my confidence level up in front of the room, resulting in a job promotion and involvement with public speaking to my team and at power equipment dealer meetings.
After six years in the equipment business, I went back to the precast prestressed concrete industry.
Continuing Education Provider
Later, the Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute began offering continuing education programs for architects.
I was eager to participate in that project.
It was an opportunity to continue to use my Dale Carnegie and Toastmasters skills, and get paid for it!
I don’t remember what year we began providing these programs, but I was using 35 mm slides and a carousel projector. I think it was about two decades ago.
National Speakers Association
Back then, I joined the National Speakers Association Kentucky Chapter as a Candidate Member, not to become a professional speaker, but to do the speaking I was doing for my industry as professionally as I could. I knew there were lessons to learn there.
Today, I work part time providing these CE programs. Last year I presented forty-three sessions.
Eventually, my NSA Kentucky involvement inspired me to provide programs of my own that are not related to the concrete industry.
That’s a huge change from refusing to introduce a speaker at a conference to being a Distinguished Toastmaster and a professional member of the National Speakers Association with my own business at The Break Out Session.
I don’t always do things the right way at the right time, but in this case, I feel like I did.
I recognized the need for public speaking skills and confidence in my late twenties, and I took that seriously and began the journey to develop them.
My stage fright or anxiety was possibly more severe than most people experience, so maybe you don’t relate to what I had to overcome, or how much work I put into it. Or how satisfying being on this side of fear is.
Not Too Late
However, if you do, it’s not too late to begin the transformation process.
Check into Dale Carnegie and Toastmasters International.
If you need any help doing that, contact me. I will be glad to assist you.
- Recognize where you are and where you want to be.
- Act, and continue to take action.
- Be open to opportunities to use your skills and confidence.
Those are my take-a-ways. What are yours?