Early New Year Resolution-- Speak at the Table Topics session

After almost two months of slacking (reasons/excuses: busy with studying ;)) from Toastmasters, I went to the meeting again last Thursday. Geeze, I really think the saying "use it or lose it"is true in public speaking (at least for beginners). Since I didn't schedule for a speech, I was thinking of doing a table topic (for those who are not familiar with Toastmasters, table topic is a 2 minute impromptu speech session. You have 30 seconds to think about the questions you received and then give a 1-3 min mini speech right there!).

However, when I was there, and the Mr. Table Topics was waiting for volunteer, I was just totally "immobilized" by my fear. All I was thinking at the moment was,"Oh, there are so many people here, I don't want to embarrass myself!... I don't think I'm ready yet, there's always a next time right?"

D (the ex-president of the club) saw no one wanted to volunteer and he was annoyed by this. He said, "If impromptu speaking is something you hesitate to do, probably that's something you should do it now to conquer your fear."

After the meeting, I told G (the most experienced speaker in our group) that I would make an early new year resolution---do one table topic at every meeting. Then G said, "practicing your public speaking skill for merely 2 minutes every two weeks is very minimal, yet this will get you started. You just have to keep doing it until you are used to it."

I think the most challenging part of Table Topics is receiving a question that I have no interest in it at all. Or sometimes I just couldn't think on my feet to come up with something witty/interesting/creative to say.

So what can I do?

I'm going to break the rules a little bit. If I really had no insights on the particular table topics, I might start talking about things that I'm interested in (i.e. things I blog about here). For starters, I think that will ease my nervousness.

How about the fear of embarrassment?

Hm....since people at Toastmasters share the same goal-- to improve their public speaking skill, I think it is okay to make mistakes in front of them. Besides, it is necessary to have the courage and feel comfortable to speak in front of a group of people!

There's a meeting coming up this Thursday. Wish me luck!


sb said...

I've read somewhere that the fear of public speaking, for some people, is worse than the fear of death. wait...that includes me!

You are very brave.

yync said...


Thanks for the comment! I guess I just want to improve myself and the fear of public speaking is the first thing to tackle.


Anonymous said...

hey, i broke the rules sometime too.