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Public Speaking Practice Tip: Getting Beyond Uncomfortable

“I don’t want to waste everybody’s time.”

This was Joy’s answer when I asked her what was going through her mind when she stopped speaking after only 30 seconds – when she had a full 60 seconds available to her.

“I couldn’t think of anything else to say,” she said. “I felt my face go flush, and I felt like I was wasting everyone’s time. So I just sat back down.” She continued, “I don’t like Table Topics because it’s giving an off-the-cuff answer to a surprise question – and I’m not good at that. I like practicing and being prepared. But I do want to be able to be witty and be able to respond quickly in the moment.”

Uncomfortable is the only path to Badassery Island. You gotta parachute through the clouds, wind, and rain.

I recommended: Do Table Topics again, and when you get to that point where you’re out of things to say – and you feel your face getting hot and you’re beginning to freak out – just keep standing there and smile at your Toastmasters audience. And keep doing that, no matter how uncomfortable you feel. Each week, get to that point of feeling flush, then keep going – no matter what happens. Get that experience of uncomfortableness in your bones. And if something new pops into your head, start speaking.

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