Public speaking is important to us every time, everywhere. The reason it’s important is that the skill can help you differentiate yourself from the others. Most people don’t have the courage to go to the stage and speak in front, that is why it’s a perfect opportunity to stand out from most people. Because of this, you can get a promotion if you work, or basically get a job if you are in an interview. And the benefit doesn’t end there. For example, you can grow your influence and leadership, ultimately people will see you as their leader, and many other benefits.
Hey, guys! Jazz is here. Today, I want to tell you guys the reason why I love public speaking and the story of how I discovered public speaking.
Before Public Speaking
Okay, so before I was introduced into public speaking, I was a pure Minecraft player. I actually talked about myself being a Minecraft player, so I think I don’t have to repeat it. Instead, you can click here or here to read my Minecraft experience.
That was when I was still in middle school (or junior high school, whatever you call it). I wasn’t shy at that time, but I wasn’t confident about myself either. I never joined organization activities before, and I was quieter than I am now. I also love being home (also because I didn’t get invited to hang out with friends). Well, Not really much things that I can tell you guys before I started public speaking.
When Introduced to Public Speaking
When I entered high school, I realized that it was time to start fresh. I couldn’t change what I had done in middle school, but at least I can make a new start in high school. So I acted confident in front of others, and it felt really good. I was in the spotlight for a period of time, it felt really great. I can sense the feeling of pride. I wanted to have more of that kind of experience, but there was only a really small opportunity for me.
Maybe a year later when I was in grade 11, I asked my teacher if there was an English competition. My teacher said yes, but I only had a month to prepare, which was a really short time for me as a beginner. The competition was called NEON, a national English competition hosted by Tarumanegara University. So in a month, I prepared the speech for a week and practiced continuously for three weeks.
It was the day of the competition. I was surprised to see that there were many talented people from all of the place. They all were nice to me and they welcomed me to the competition. So we talked a lot about many things. And when it was my turn to speak, I never felt so good standing in front of people. It felt like when you are climbing a mountain. Let’s say, Mount Everest. You climb, and climb, and climb, and after countless time, you have reached the top of the mountain. You can feel a sense of accomplishment, and you just want to scream “I AM ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN! (echo) (echo) (echo)”.
Well, I lost the competition, but I did not despair. I was actually happy to feel the experience and tasted the bitterness of losing. I learned so much in just a few days. Since then, I loved English speech competitions more than ever.
Quite a long time after the competition, I wanted to host a reunion with my competition buddies. Well, it was a success, except that there were only two people that came to the reunion. There, one of my friends told me about Toastmasters. He invited me to his Toastmasters club to check it out. At first, I didn’t know what Toastmasters is. At first, I thought the Toastmasters club is a club where you eat toasts.
But it is actually different in many ways. Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization where you can improve your public speaking and leadership. Toastmasters offers you a different experience of learning, that is learning peer-to-peer (or friends to friends). There is a supervisor in some cases, but they do not function as a teacher. Rather, it’s more like learning by doing, and the members will give you feedback about your speech. What’s the good and bad about your speech.
So I went to SCBD Toastmasters to check the place out. To my surprise, the members are really friendly and warm. Overall, the meeting was absolutely fantastic. So I joined for another two weeks until I ran out of money because the guest fee was Rp60.000,00 (I was under-aged, so I can’t register). So one of the members there told me about Achievers Gavel Club, which is a youth club affiliated with Toastmasters.
At first, I wasn’t too interested in it, because the members are kids. But if I want to improve my public speaking skill, Achievers Gavel Club was my only way to improve my public speaking skills. So I visited the club one day, and to my surprise, the kids were awesome. Some of the kids had better public speaking skills than adults. From that moment, I want to be more active in public speaking. I made so many speech scripts for my speeches.
Well, the supervisor in Achievers Gavel Club wanted to change the organization name, but the rest remains the same. So our supervisor moved our club to Agora Speakers International. The organization is similar to Toastmasters, but have more complex education paths. And the youth clubs are acknowledged as genuine clubs, not affiliate clubs.
And because of that (and the president of the club had reached the end of her period), we had to elect a president to the club. A member of the club and I volunteered to be the president. But in the end, I won the election. Since then, I was the president. I also held a debate session and planning for a club competition none of the presidents has ever done before (I don’t mean to boast myself).
Because of everything I have encountered after the competition, everything I have encountered in public speaking, what can I say? How could I not love public speaking? I love public speaking because it’s basically changed my life, from a potato couch into a public speaking club president. I also learned many things. The most important thing that I learned in public speaking is not to underestimate anyone, especially kids (they are giants in disguise. Be careful!).
And the thing that I find funny is that I ended up loving public speaking because I joined a competition where I only have a short time to prepare. So in short, basically it’s like this quote:
To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.
So all of that started with just two decisions: join, or not to join. I can still imagine that I will still be a couch potato if I chose not to join my first competition. Anyways, if you ask why I love public speaking, this article is the answer.