How To Pursue Your Passion Of Public Speaking

The idea of finding your passion in life seems like a fairy tale doesn’t it? Just like so many people think the idea of finding your perfect soulmate seems like an unachievable dream, finding your purpose or passion can seem quite daunting as well. But even though it seems like something out of our grasps, we all know that if we are able to identify it, that we will feel better about ourselves.

Passion is a phrase we hear often these days from many of the popular motivational speakers, but what does it mean exactly?  How do we determine what our passion really is?  How do we find the time to pursue anything with all the work we have to do?  Those are really good questions and I’m not really sure that I have the answers to them, but one thing I do know is that pursuing your passion involves choices.  That’s right choices.

“If you want to pursue anything, it means you have to take some type of action” suggests life coach Lisa Jenkins of the Coaching Institute.  The word pursue involves movement and if you are sitting on the couch watching the lastest episode of Lost or The Amazing Race, then you are not moving, (other than to get up from the couch to go to the fridge for snacks).

Pursuing your passion means making choices to forgo that TV show to get out and do something about what you are passionate about.  If it is playing hockey, then it probably won’t matter that you don’t have ice time until 11 pm and don’t get home until 1:00 am and still have to go to work.  If it is building a better body, then you probably won’t mind getting up really early in the morning to exercise and work out.  If it is becoming a public speaker, then you will want to attend public speaking events so that you can practice and learn.

Not all Toastmasters have dreams of pursuing a career in public speaking, but they do all have a desire to improve their communication skills in some way.  Perhaps they are shy and want to overcome the nervousness they feel in social situations.  Perhaps they have to give presentations as part of their job and they want to become more comfortable standing in front of an audience.  Perhaps they want to be able to talk about their business without becoming embarrassed.  Whatever the reason, they have to make a choice.  A choice to show up at a meeting, to find out more about public speaking, about Toastmasters in particular.

I have been a member of Toastmasters now for 8 years.  I recently completed my DTM.  I have held every office in Toastmasters, but my favorite is that of Public Relations.  I really like to spread the word about the benefits of Toastmasters!  I have seen members grow from being so shy that they could hardly speak loud enough to be heard in a meeting, to competing in a Division Contest.  

I have been privileged to be a mentor to many new Toastmasters, to be a part of their growth from their first speech – the Ice Breaker – to the final speech in their Competent Communicator manual and beyond.  I have attended conferences and helped with the contest activities by judging and/or timing.  I have served as Area Governor and as a member of two High Performance Leadership teams.  

My choice is to learn and to serve in Toastmasters, to become better at speaking and to share my knowledge with other club members.  That is one of the reasons I insist on Educational Tips being a part of every meeting and every club I belong to.  It is important that we learn and grow.

What is your choice?  What are you passionate about?