Speech angst— just like the Veep

Speech angst— just like the Veep
Nervous what?

My husband and I laughed out loud this week at Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Veep character's nervous tic twitch. The non-stop Veep comedy of errors is hilarious. The timing followed my own not funny Toastmasters debut.

My friend, the beautiful (she doesn't know it) Wendy Widom of In the Loop, graciously volunteered to coach me in my speech training. She is a passionate Ivy League educated change agent who manages community-based marketing campaigns and organizes training sessions. We set a date, which bumped up against my work training: Fred Pryor's Communication Skills for Women.

I shared my speech insecurities with Wendy. Although I don't feel nervous the night before or moments before public speaking, I get nervous when I start talking. It's subtle, but painful.

Wendy kindly pointed out that when she recorded my speech with her iPad I paused a couple times before I said a word after the first sound. To focus on the positive, my loved ones (spouse, parents, siblings, best friends, etc.) co-workers (boss, etc.) never noticed it.  I hope this is recent and temporary!

To minimize my own speech stress and maximize success, Wendy suggested I define a goal for every speaking engagemnt and develop talking points. I'm going to practice everything else Wendy taught me in Toastmasters. She tactfully used the example of how when she first recorded me on video, I sounded like a bad variation of Al Gore when he initially projected fear related to climate change.

One of my favorite tips I learned from Wendy is to emulate a famous pop entertainment speaker. I immediately thought of the character of Julianna Marguiles' character Alicia Florrick on the Good Wife. I saw Marguiles on a commercial recently that struck me as the speaker I want to be.

I'm going to keep channeling and practicing, thanks to Wendy, Toastmasters and Fred Pryor!

Who are famous speakers that inspire you?

From the archive: Toastmasters conquer public speaking fearTo be an awkward tall girl; We all need grit to flourish; Why I love the Good Wife

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