Courage is the commitment to begin something without any guarantee of a successful result. But courage also allows you to fail and learn a powerful lesson… therefore you don’t really fail at all. If you never courageously take a risk you will never accomplish anything in life. It is my time to challenge myself and to confidently learn public speaking skills with my local Toastmasters International club.
I took a risk tonight and stepped way out of my comfort zone, delivering my first structured speech at Toastmasters. I was nervous but excited… ready for the challenge and looked forward to suggestions and improvements from my fellow Toastmasters.
I joined up only last meeting and was keen to step up and give it a go tonight. Courageously I stepped up to the lectern, delivered a 5 minute “Ice Breaker” introductory speech about myself and what I am passionate about. I felt relieved when finished, but I also felt a sense of satisfaction, that I was courageous enough to speak in front of a small audience. This was an achievement in itself.
Proudly I accepted an Award for being voted the Best Speaker on the night. Secretly I thought I may have got a few sympathy or encouragement votes for being a “virgin” speaker. But I did feel my passion and words were from the heart, and was very content with my first speech.
The beauty is other members give you feedback with an evaluation of your speech. This includes detailed commendations and a recommendation for improvement. I still have so much to learn, skills to develop and confidence to be formed. But I am on the right track and have found the right place.
My favourite part is the support and guidance that fellow Toastmasters give you. It is with their positive reinforcement that I have been able to have faith in myself and believe that I can do it. There is no such thing as failure, it is all a learning curve.
Success is having the courage, determination and perseverance to see something through. If you have the courage to begin, you will certainly have the courage to succeed. Believe in yourself!
Take care, Karen.
“Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death.”
~ Earl Wilson