Public speaking, a privilege ?
After years of practice in various settings, punctuated by occasional failures and successes, I now realize, that speaking to an audience is, 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 the 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 for my work and for the NGOs I volunteer with. I am also more aware of the demands the privilege to speak require : 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.