My first public speaking experience

In my school days I regularly participated in competitions, stage performances, etc. as I really enjoyed these activities.  I was not afraid of stage performances or competitions or facing people.  My first participation was in a fancy dress competition when I was in Sr. KG.  It was my first stage performance in which I scored 3rd position.  However, as I grew up and was on a verge of completing my professional education, something I felt missing in me.  I was always beyond average student and always scored good in my studies and other activities like sports, poetry competitions, debates, fancy dress completion in school days.

When I was in my CA Finals, compared to other students I felt something missing in me and that was my public speaking skills.  My English vocabulary was really good but to speak in front of public, it was very scary.  I did not had confidence to speak in public and this missing part in me was making me feel inferior to other students in my profession.  I was going in a profession where public speaking skill was a must.  I used to speak to my mom dad and sis that after finishing my professional education, I would do a personality development course which will help me overcome the fear of public speaking.  My family told me that personality development course is not important, important thing is your self confidence.  Some how I was also not much convinced to do any personality development course apart from my professional course.

Then came GMCS, it felt like Universe listened to my desire to overcome fear of public speaking.  GMCS is a course in our CA curriculum which is mandatory for all the students before getting membership credential of CA.  It was 15 days course on General Management and Communication Skills.  The faculties were experts in their respective fields.  I was excited to attend the course but equally nervous when I saw the schedule of the day to day activities of the course.  There were 6 sessions on public speaking.  When I saw this, I was very much nervous, though all the students were like me who were going to face public speaking for the first time, the thought of 6 continuous sessions made me very nervous.

The course started per schedule and the 1st session of public speaking arrived.  The faculty was an expert, he guided us about the points to be considered while public speaking.  We were 32 students and each one of us were given 1 minute to speak on any topic per our choice.  Sir told us to speak possibly in English but since it was the first time, he allowed us to speak in our mother tongue.  Main thing was self confidence which he wanted to see in all of us.  I had already decided to speak in English on a small topic.  Today I don’t remember exactly the topic and the contents but it was about success and failure in life.  My turn to speak came in second session, till that I saw many students speaking on their chosen topics.  Some did a good job and some were so much nervous that their hands were shivering and body as well.  This all made me a bit tensed but I tried to cool down my self.   Sir had told us to see at all the students individually one by one in their eyes while speaking and do notice their expressions and let them know that you are talking to all of them rather than focusing on few people.  So I did accordingly and spoke on my topic for 1 minute.  Though I was nervous, I managed not to show my nervousness to the students.  After I completed my speech, it felt like I won the world.  It was so relaxing.  Then it was the time to listen to our faculty to know the positives and negatives about my speech.  I was so happy to listen our Sir’s feedback about my speech.  He said, my English vocabulary, voice modulations during speech, my body language and the contents of the topic were excellent, the only thing to improve upon was my voice.  My voice was not audible to the students seated in the last row.  So, Sir suggested me to ask all the students whether voice is audible at the beginning of the speech.

Next day, the topic for 1 minute speech was given by Sir to all of us and we were given only few hours to prepare.  All the students prepared for their respective topics.  I was also prepared for my topic.  This time, at the beginning of the speech I asked all the students whether my voice was audible to each of them, all said yes.  I started speaking and guess what?   this time, I did it.  Sir and all the students said my English vocabulary, voice audibility, voice modulation, body language and the contents of the speech were excellent.  All were so happy and I was feeling amazing.  I did not expect that I would perform so well in such a little time.   After second day, everyday we had various individual and group presentations and we all performed so well.  All the students, who feared public speaking were looking so confident at the end of the 15 days sessions.  It was so amazing.  At the end of the 15 days sessions, in the farewell party, we all were invited to share our experiences with the management of the course and all the faculties.   We were called voluntarily and in no perfect order or sequence.  I went confidently to the dais and with a big smile shared my amazing experience of 15 days.  It was an unbelievable experience.  I could not believe that I did so well in public speaking for which I was so afraid of 15 days back.

There after, in my job and other activities, numerous times I gave presentations in front of management.  I was asked to give presentation in front of about 100 people, that  was really amazing.  Last year, I was selected to represent my employer company with team in one of the famous Management competitions and present a paper on contemporary topic.  Though my team did not win, but the experience of participating in the competition and presenting a paper in front of other participating industries and juries was really a great learning experience.

Today, when I look back to my past, when I see myself 8 years back, I realize how Universe developed me in my talents, my profession, my personality and my overall nature through my parents, my siblings, my friends, our GMCS faculties, my company management and my colleagues who have always encouraged and supported me in all my endeavors.  I have always believed that God comes in the form of the people in our life.  God is not going to come in some super form but he is in the form of a layman who becomes part of our life everyday, it is for us to recognize god in the people and I feel grateful that I have learnt to recognize god around me.

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