Written by PJ Reece from Mexico
There was a time when I might have begun this blog-post-in-absentia by apologizing for not being with you for the next four meetings. But Toastmasters has taught me that saying “sorry” doesn’t serve the presentation. Much better to push on with confidence.
To stand up with confidence—that just may be the most important skill I’ve learned at Toastmasters over the past three years. Is the audience not nourished by a confident speaker?
Let me tell you a story. It happened yesterday.
I was meeting with two other writers here in Mazatlan. We were sipping our espresso cortados at a beachside café (sorry!) and discussing the annual Library Benefit event for which, this year, our writing group is responsible. We are obliged to create some kind of literary discussion in which the audience can participate. Since our critique group has no “leader” as such, who was going to moderate this tricky business?
After much humming and hawing and prevaricating from my two amigos, I replied:
“Listen, I’m not saying that I think I’d do the best job, but I will say that I know I can stand up with confidence.”
It’s true. And yet, three years ago the very idea would have been anathema to me. In fact, I couldn’t quite believe what I’d said. I’d never said such a thing in my life.
But back to the meeting… Mike sat back in his chair and said, “Look, the palms of my hands have stopped sweating. Thank you, PJ.”
Sue said something to the effect of, “Oh, God, what a relief.”
And there I am thinking, “Thank you, Morningstars, for this personal milagro, this miracle.”
We are indeed “EVOLVING TOGETHER—SHAPING OUR WORLD.”