Monday, August 6, 2012

How did you get started in public speaking?

Was it a conference call? A work presentation? Or did your first public speaking effort vault you before a big audience? I'm curious to hear where you took your first step in public speaking, about how you got started. It doesn't have to be a speech, but I'm thinking mostly about out-of-school experiences in the workplace or the community.

Tell us about your audience, your subject matter, the setting and especially, tell us how did it feel to try public speaking for the first time? What kind of reaction did you get? How did you react to it? What kind of preparation (if any) did you do? What would you advise someone else who's new to public speaking?

Please share your getting-started-in-speaking story in the comments. I'm sure the newbies in our readership will appreciate hearing your stories--and you'll get the chance to see how far you've come.


Vanessa said...

I joined a public speaking club because I wanted to meet new people and just try something new. My first speaking engagement was to the RNLI and I was so ill I had a bucket with me in the car (I leave the rest to your imagination). Adrenaline kicked in and I delivered a 30-minute speech about why you shouldn't use the word 'Just.' Although one lady seemed to be asleep (she was celebrating her 102nd birthday, I think she was entitled to do whatever she wanted!) everyone enjoyed it and asked me lots of questions afterwards. It took me a whole day to recover but I was on a high for ages. Quite a weird start, I guess but I'm hooked on the speaking bug now!

ellie grossman said...

I've come a long way since I was the high school commencement speaker back in 1982! Cant believe I just admitted that. As a freelance journalist, humor writer, blogger, and author, I have built an audience with my parenting humor column "Mishegas of Motherhood," and now organizations in the Jewish community and widespread businesses ask me to speak about the funny side of raising children and other women's issues. Speakers should always talk about what they know, and I know that Im learning along the way when it comes to raising two teenagers. My book, "Misheagas of Motherhood. Raising Children To Leave The Nest...As Long As They Come Home For Dinner," combines domestic satire with Jewish wisdom that applies to all modern families, so I always have plenty to write/speak about and the topics are timeless. I try to be entertaining and enlightening, offering something a little different. And I always end my speech on a "sweet" note. Chocolate.