My Second Speech for Toastmasters out of my Competent Communication book, project 2.

Tonight I gave my 2nd speech to my Gore toastmasters group. Even though I have only been attending since April I can’t believe the improvements I have made. All from learning little bits from all the other members. Tonight apart from trying to control the butterflies, my goals were to not clench my fists and not to say umm! I did say 1 um, and instead of clenching my fists I kind of played with my fingertips (hard to describe) but an improvement I think haha. ( please excuse my grammar,spelling and all that’s not right. I could read and understand it, the main thing 😉 .

Below is my Speech I wrote on Saturday inbetween calves and cows, also a photo of my report from my Evaluator, I’m super stoked! And so pleased I went outside my comfy zone! can I inspire you too?

Get out of your comfort zone!

If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your horizons.

Be willing to step outside of it once in a while;
Take the risks in life that seem worth taking.
The ride might not be as predictable if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting.

As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.

I’ve learnt in my life that it’s important to be able to step outside my comfy zone.
Because of my fear of public speaking,I had let friends down when I couldn’t bring myself to speak at a tangi of my dear school friend and another occasion a best friends 40th.
I had never liked the sound of my own voice, let alone the thought of standing up and having a zillion eyes looking and listening to me!
A few years ago, I was asked to join a local radio show .I thought it was an ideal opportunity for my business. I was sick of letting opportunities go and making excuses because of my fear of public speaking.

The show, 3 years on has become my new normal, though the first few months, everytime I went to go on air, I felt like fainting, sweaty palms and that terrible butterfly feeling. I now am a regular on a couple of different radio shows. It is my new normal, but only because I pushed myself to continue.
It’s the hardest thing pushing through anxiety and worry, to get to the new ‘Normal’.

From there came other opportunities, which I hesitantly accepted. First judging then later comparing a wedding show….
It was during this time I got speaking to a friend about my inadequacies, she suggested coming along to toastmasters….
I put it off………. it was right out side my comfort zone!

We all like being comfortable. But there is a time when pushing ourselves is going to be beneficial. Its times like that we need to recognise.

If we trust ourselves we start to sense when the time is right.

For me the time came with a phone call from Conference NZ, asking if I would participate as a speaker on a panel for an upcoming Marketing conference ,being held in Auckland. It would have been comfortable and easy to say thank you but no thank you.
But the time felt right and I instead said thank you and YES!

Next I messaged my friend Chrissy and asked, what time and day is this toastmasters meeting? Tell me more!……It’s time!

The rest is history!

Although I had only been attending a few months before my speaking engagement, I had learnt so many little things from the great group of Gore toastmasters that, when it was my turn to get on stage in front of 200 attendees, (with a mic attached to my ear-yes another first) , I was able to control my nerves, I remembered to breath and while a little shaky to start, once I was up there for a few minutes, relaxed and was able to discuss all the points I needed and answer the audience questions. The questions kept coming to the point that the 50 mins went 15mins over, but to the delight of myself and the conference convenor , it was because the audience wanted it. I have since been asked to speak again next year! Will this be my new normal?

A comfort zone is a problem when we’re stuck in it, when we don’t let ourselves move with the natural flow of life. When we hold ourselves back and hide where we are comfortable and with what we know.

ARE we effectively saying no to life?

For me, public speaking was becoming a hindrance, I was passing up opportunities because I may have needed to stand up in front of a large group and speak!

Stepping out of my comfort zone, enabled me to recently receive several accolades on stage, with no speech prepared.
3 times I was required to get up and except awards.
Going out of my comy zone and coming along to toastmasters enabled me to be able to breath, stop, think and process what I was going to say that was relevant.
Yes my head was spinning on my shoulders, well so I felt, yes my voice was shaky from emotion, as much as anything, but I was able to get up on stage!!! Remember just the thought of that was waaaay out of my comfort zone, not that long ago!

My next challenge has been set, in a few weeks I am helping MC a local fundraiser, again out of my comfy zone, but the more I do this the more this will become my normal.

I challenge you! Do what scares you. When you think of ideas and it scares you. It is a good sign!
Usually a scared feeling is accompanied with the feeling of exhilaration.

The more we can make it a habit of pushing ourselves, the easier it will become.

Be that person you truly want to be, challenge yourself, and weather it learning something new, changing lifestyle or job or doing something that really intrigues you! It will be scary and you will second thought yourself, but do it!

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!
Are you missing opportunities? Are you doing what you dream of?

Are you in a comfy zone?