I used to laugh at him when I heard him speak in school – because he didn’t know how to.
But today – I’m impressed
It’s been close to 5 years since we last met in school. We’d been to the same schools for close to 6 years. Although we’d been in different classes, we were aware of each others’ presence – mostly because of our small cohort sizes. But she heard me speak – in public – mainly because of the time when I was tasked to appeal to the entire school – on stage – for donations for the less privileged.
She laughed at me. Or so she said.
I can’t remember – I can’t even remember what I said! I was that nervous. And I’m glad I survived that experience relatively unscathed. That’ll probably explain why I can’t remember a single thing now – because I was more interested in getting down the podium than on my message!
Speaking of stage fright!
Yet, 4 years on things things have changed.
No longer was the laughter the reaction of ridicule – it was the result of the execution of the game plan. The applause was given then not because I was about to leave the stage – but because I’d been on stage… and I noted then the vast difference that time and effort in training makes.
* * *
Ever wondered if the time and effort you put into an activity is worth it? I have. All the time!
Yet, I think every venture requires a little bit of faith and a lot of perseverance: faith to take the first step and both to help you pull through when times are tough.
For everyone who struggled or are struggling in various stages in life, or are in the process of taming those dragons in your public speaking adventure, remember this:
Your investment of time and effort is worth it!
And in the words of the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking, Craig Valentine puts it: The very people who put you down, will be amongst the first to pat you on your back when you make it.
Keep the faith. Your time and effort will be worth it.