Author Archives: Mike T Smith, ACG ALB

A Message From the President

Greetings Speakers and Speakers-to-be,

Behavioral experts will tell you everyday that the biggest fear in the civilized world is public speaking. That’s right, it actually ranks higher than the fear of dying. While I’m not a behavioral expert I agree with this statement. Because the day I was scheduled to do my first public speech I was secretly wishing that my car would get stolen. Since no one wanted a 1988 Toyota pick up that clings and clangs that wasn’t happening.  I even  wished I would get sick, not death bed sick, but enough to give me a good excuse not to show up that night.

I was terrified! But I did it, and my life changed that night. I had a newfound speakconfidence. Since I beat my number one fear in the world, the rest of my world opened up. Now what else can I do? There is nothing more liberating than coming face to face with your fear, shoving it down and then stepping over it and seeing all of these doors open that you never imagined you would have access to.

Since that night I’ve won multiple awards for speaking, been invited to speak in front of several organizations, schools, presented in workshops, been on TV and radio and I have authored a book. None of this would have ever happened if I didn’t show up to speak that one night.

If you have a fear of public speaking there is no magic formula to beat it. You just have to start speaking in front of crowds. Not very profound I know, but it’s the truth. Now you can either do it on somone else’s watch in front of a hostile and judgmental crowd, where a grade or even your job may be on the line, or you can do it on your time. In a positive, non-judgemental environment where you are surrounded by people who understand your fears and are there to help you every step of the way.  A place where you can make your mistakes and it’s okay.

That’s what you get when you attend a Memphis Advanced Toastmasters meeting.  So if you’re on the fence about joining come check us out. We’re friendly. We don’t bite.

Mike T.

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