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Speaking to an audience is a privilege.

by Christian Masset

· communication,public speaking

After years of practice in various settings, punctuated by occasional failures and successes, I now realize, that speaking to an audience is, after all, a privilege.

Most people not (yet) adept at speaking to audiences usually see the very exercise, at best, as a chore, a source of dread, an opportunity for desertion, in clinically acute cases, exile. At worst, something like a creepy desire to be rushed to the hospital and stay there until that threat to speak, gradually subsides,  in the ether of time.

Weird, isn'it ?    Not quite so, I think.  Years ago, I had been there, myself.

So, what happened ?  To be frank, I am not quite sure.

A few intertwined factors were at play, then.

I knew I wanted to feel more comfortable to face audiences, I knew the skill was useful on many levels, for my work, for my life in general. It seems the determining factor was to deliver a few messages I thought were important, to me, and probably useful to others. What I now remember, is the day the delicate alchemy to deliver that first message worked, and people in the audience told me they enjoyed the speech. I think that was it. The satisfaction to have been able to do that just once, was calling for a repeat, then another, and another. In various settings, with various types of people.

Years later, I speak in my work and for the NGO's I volunteer with. I am also more aware of the demands the privilege to speak requires : the necessity to have a useful topic to share, something you strongly believe in, and the need to make it entertaining and memorable. Every single time, I still keep enjoying the preparation and the thrill to be there. The dread has become a pleasant exercise, an opportunity to anticipate with open arms.

A very, very far cry from the wish I once had, to vanish in thin air.

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