If you let your writing reflect your world view, your passion, your issues and your sore spots, the result will carry an emotional truth and gravitas that will be undeniable. ~ Keith Cronin
Why doesn’t speaking in public ever get any less scary?
I think it might be because you reveal more and more of yourself.
I have an upcoming speech on Wednesday. It will be my ninth speech for my Toastmasters club and my most self-revelatory to date.
The crowd of butterflies are already swirling.
Apparently I’m not the only one at my club who suffers. After canvassing a number of other club members, it came as a pleasant surprise to find that everyone, bar none, felt some form of panic before a speech – apparently, it’s perfectly natural.
Bruce, my adopted grandfather, tells me that nerves are necessary to bring us up out of ordinary mode.
‘Feeling nervous lifts us into a heightened state so we can go out and get our message across.’
As a firm believer in elevating a stage presence beyond the normal “conversational mode,” Bruce says, ‘it’s okay when you’re speaking in a small room, but, if you were in a big hall could you project the same message to fill the bigger space?’
These are the elements of speech craft which need to be mastered.
So far, I’ve found speech-writing is very similar to writing story. Ever since joining Toastmasters on June 10, 2015, I’ve noticed many parallels between the two disciplines.
For both writing speeches and fiction, you start with a germinating idea. You note it down. You wait. You get a few more ideas. You note them also.
A thought/song/movie/conversation comes to you and adds more material. This is the fun “gathering” stage. Or what New Zealand writer, Joy Cowley, calls the period of, ‘baiting the hook and waiting for the fish to come.’
Then, one day, you start jamming it together like some sort of wonderful jigsaw that begins to make this miraculous transformation before your eyes into a lovely picture.
The resulting speech or story is a masterpiece you then get to marvel over. Art is a process of alchemy, turning a whole bunch of random things into a new form. I love it!
Being a worry-wart, I have to worry about the creation of each speech and story anyway, let’s be clear! The creative process is still a partially anxious one for me. I worry over each of my babies. Will they come out the way I want them to? Will they be perfect?
I’ve been gathering bits and bobs for my ninth speech ever since the last one. James Joyce said, Mistakes are portals of discovery. When you’re in the business of learning public speaking, you need to be willing to make mistakes. While it’s scary, it is also rewarding!
Only in the last few days, has this speech finally begun to take its shape. I feel very uncertain about it indeed, as I will be sharing some of the emotional abuse I lived through during three of my marriages. I’ve been reading a lot of articles by intelligent people, espousing that within the safety net of Toastmasters, we ‘tell our stories.’ This is my story – I’m a survivor of abuse. But all three of these men are still living, so where do we draw the line?
I’ve been writing this speech, trying to tell my story without dipping into the maudlin for the sympathy vote, or cheating the audience by skimming the surface.
I decided the only way to go forward with it was to take it from the point of view of my experience, without adding too many other words on top. What do you think?
What is considered slander and what is sharing my story? Any suggestions would be welcome!
Talk to you later.
Keep on Creating!
Yvette K. Carol
Frank Baum. ~ The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid.
Subscribe to my Newsletter by emailing me with “Newsletter Subscription” in the subject line to: email@example.com