In 2001 I did a Dale Carnegie course. It was one of the most amazing courses I have ever done. And our trainer George was amazing. A total inspiration. A guy who lived and breathed everything he taught. It wasn't just a job - it was a passion. I didn't know about Dale Carnegie until I entered a Secretary of the Year competition. And I felt really comfortable with everything they expected us to do, except when I heard that there would be a stage where we would have limited time to prepare a talk on whatever topic they chose. And I was totally freaked out because I believed my prepared speeches were good, but the impromptu ones not so good and I needed help. And so I signed up for the 12 week course.
This course was way more than I ever thought it would be. It wasn't just about the public speaking element, but also dealt with positive ways in dealing with people, memory techniques and more. The public speaking part (as with everything else about the course) was absolutely amazing. And the techniques I learnt brilliant and incredibly helpful. And I learnt that what I thought I knew about making speeches was all wrong before I started the course.
I didn't know then that I would actually eventually 11 years later find myself in a public speaking position.
The day before yesterday I was asked to be a speaker at a fundraising dinner event. As in speaking for 30 minutes in front of a couple of hundred people. It will be in March. I have to admit I'm a bit nervous (okay quite a bit nervous and right now my stomach is home to a bunch of butterflies). But I'm also really excited. I'll actually get to do what George taught me way back in 2001. I'll have an opportunity to help make a difference to a good cause. And that is always exciting!
I managed to track George down again. George wrote the loveliest email with such kind words and I'm looking forward having a chat with him to brush up on some of the tips and techniques.
So now to get my head around this talk and start practising!