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Speaker's Corner

Experience is Golden

Experience is Golden


One of the best cures for stage fright is experience. I recall in one of my earliest speeches, my left knee cap was shaking. I hoped it didnít show through my trouser leg, but later I noticed the shiver in the knee of one of my classmates. Stage fright is as natural as breathing when you are new at the game, and it doesnít go away until you get some experience behind you. Actually, nervousness is a part of the stimulus that helps you stay intense about your speech and it is a good thing overall.

With experience, stage fright decreases and you can begin to think about your speech instead of your kneecap. In the end, it is the drive to communicate that overcomes stage fright. There is something in man that wants to give his ideas a forum. We want people to see what we see, to think the way we think, to conclude what we have concluded.

The hard part for a would be speaker is finding the venues in which he can gain experience. One of the best is Toastmasters International, but there are other social clubs that will offer opportunities to communicate and build up experience.

Church is a good place to practice as well. Sometimes the practice will be in a discussion group setting. Occasionally, you may even have a chance to make a presentation. Churches should do what they can to give speakers a chance to gain experience. I have known churches that gave men opportunities to give sermonettes, and as long as they are used as a teaching tool, they are a good thing. There should always be some kind of feedback system when sermonettes are used for training.

When you have had a chance to speak, seek out someone who can give you a helpful evaluation. This is one of the great thing about Toastmasters. Evaluations are built into the structure of the club. If you canít find someone else to evaluate you, tape the speech and evaluate yourself.

Experience with evaluation. This is the way the great speakers develop.


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