together? Many would consider them contradictory. I consider them
joined was because I stammer – I have been since I was eight years old. A
friend had told me “Toastmasters makes you a better public speaker”. At that
point in my life, I was desperate to try any method that would make me a better
public speaker. At that point in my life, I would stammer on almost every single
word while giving a public speech; I had to give daily briefings to my staff in
my restaurant. Consistently, after each briefing, feelings of embarrassment, shame
and inadequacy would swell inside me.
speak in public. This resolution was bittersweet. I knew Toastmasters would
help me, but I dreaded going to our weekly 7:30 pm Monday meetings. Every
Monday, I would have butterflies storming in my stomach in the early afternoon.
By the evening, my heart would be racing and my mind would play out all
possible scenarios in which I could stammer. I would then consciously try to
avoid each of them.
due to a lack of time, but primarily due to the fact that my fear of public
speaking grew stronger than my will to be a public speaker.
into a recession once again. I decided, and this time acted upon the idea, that
I needed professional help. I turned to a 3-week Intensive Therapy program in January 2013.
and decided I would try to join Toastmasters again. Since I have been back I
have religiously attended every Toastmasters club meeting and taken a role in
each and every one – from Joke master to Table Topics Master to Grammarian. My
club held an International speech competition, and Table Topics competition on
Saturday, March 23; I won 2nd place and 1st place
Guangzhou. I gave a speech on a mental tool useful for PWS, called Turn Around
Thinking. It’s when you make a conscious decision to stop beating yourself up,
and focus on the positive aspects of the situation – What did you do well? Why
was the situation a success? You can watch the speech below. PS: I use the word
Stutter because I’ve been educated in American schooling systems. Enjoy 🙂