My first talk in front of 100+ people – PW/S

I knew the clock is ticking. I was aware of my surroundings as I was getting ready. I was cautious as I was moving towards the building, all unknown faces in hurry, kids with the fancy accent on the registration counter, ladies, and gentlemen with drinks in hand, all in a formal set-up in one of the biggest MNC in India – Microsoft, Hyderabad. The building so tall that it can intimidate anyone, an aura so ceremonial that it can involve anyone and here I was, to talk about the most dreaded term in my life – stammer.
I thanked God for the small room where our talk was planned. I was happy I didn’t have to present in the hall, where I could be seen by everyone crossing the road through the glass building. I was happy when the time reached and only a few participants were sitting, all hooked up to mobile phones. I was happy I was given only five minutes, which would look like 2 hours if I had a block. I was looking at my notes when people started pouring in like the monsoon rain. My heart clenched in itself and my voice went down the throat. The room was getting full and I saw people all over the place, of all age groups, with fancy names and I-cards. Then and there I knew, this talk would not get canceled, and soon I will find myself standing on that dais, holding that mike. My heart skipped a beat.
The workshop started in full swing. The organizer was cheerful and people were attentive. The time flew by and I was asked to come on stage. I knew the time has come.
I stood up acting like I am completely normal and ready, but I knew I was scared. Afterall, it was no joke, I was about to speak for total F.I.V.E minutes on a mike in front of 100+ people, who were people without stammer (PW/S).
Suddenly I felt light-hearted. I took the steps. It was like a victory step, one at a time, towards the fear which I wanted to take off my chest. The fear of shame, the fear of being let down, the fear of my non-acceptance. I was about to shatter my fears, one at a time. I realized it is now or never. God might not give me this chance again, to live my fears and destroying them. I decided I am my own master, and I will speak as I like.
I commenced by staring the crowd in their eyes. I took my time and measured the length and breadth of the hall as I did not want to miss a single person. I took ‘charge’ of my speech and witnessed the crowd. I was my own master. I did not allow my stammer to take hold of me, mentally. I let my stammer come as and when it wanted to come, but it did not stop me to say what I wanted to say. I was loud and convincing and used my communication skills (verbal + non-verbal) and spoke with pride and honor. I was succeeding and I did it.
The after-effects were the episodes I would like to remember. People approached me with eyes full of gratitude and mouth with word of thanks. They hugged me, shook my hand with tears in their eyes and remembering their uncles, aunts, siblings who stammered and promised they will be more aware of the situation. They said I am brave and that was all I wanted to hear, ever. I was blossoming in my glory as if I have won a battle, yes, of course, I did win, I have won my battle with my stammer.


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