Had a first-time speaker at Toastmasters today — that first speech is called an Icebreaker. The speaker today, as many have said before her, that “If you had told me a month ago I’d CHOOSE to stand up and talk in front of people, I’d have said ‘no way’.” And that’s one of the greatest things about Toastmasters — giving folks the courage and the structure and the forum to stand up and get it done. BTW, this speaker, like most Icebreakers, did a great job. It was the fear of standing up and speaking that kept the world from knowing about her.But hangups and inhibitions slow down more than just the first time speaker. Fear (“a feeling of anxiety or agitation”) of getting turned down keeps many a salesman from asking for the account/sale. Fear of rejection keeps many a man from dating. Fear of appearances keeps many a speaker dull and boring, doing the same ol’ because he’s afraid that people might think he’s a bit off kilter for doing something a little out of the ordinary. Fear of some cartoon character has kept my boy awake the last few nights.Facing fear is real. And scary. But we should draw strength and courage from those first-timers who get it done, and face those monsters — real or perceived — head-on. Then the second time won’t be so bad. And the third may even be easy.
Try something new. The first time. Today.