Speech Communications Class & how it changed my life

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I’ve never been a fan of public speaking, not one bit. I can still remember one of my very first times having to get up and talk for a photography event and being out on the porch of the venue crying and about ready to throw up. I’ve always stressed about it and that’s why I left my public speaking class for college until my last semester. Just the thought of it had me sweating, I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the class, let alone pass it.  

The first day of class I sat & looked around the room trying to size everyone up, you’ve been there I’m sure, trying to figure out who might be a friend, who might laugh at one of my lame jokes, or even better, the one that wouldn’t even be listening to my speech so I could look at them & not the other eyes watching me. We got the syllabus and my heart sank, the first speech was personal testimony. Great, I thought, just what I want to do, share my life with these strangers and get graded on it. I spent hours writing and practicing and practicing. The drive to Clarks Summit on the morning of my speech seemed way too short & long at the same time. I stood in the bathroom trying to figure out a way to skip class and then my phone started going off with text messages of “praying for you”, “you’ve got this”, and other encouragements. I walked up to the front of the class, my knees shook the entire time, but I successfully talked for 2 minutes in front of the class! With each speech, I thought the nerves would disappear, but they didn’t, they seemed to get worse. I would try to convince myself to skip class. I hated it. I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before my speech, cold sweats, wouldn’t be able to eat, I was a wreck. After each speech though, I gained a little bit of confidence, I would get a good grade & some feedback from the teacher. I couldn’t have been happier when that 16 weeks was over. I was sure that my public speaking days were over, there was no reason for me to have to go through that torture again. Right?! 

Oh how wrong I was. God was using that Speech Communication class to grow me because He knew what was ahead. Here I am, six months after graduation, and I have been able to speak at numerous events, meetings, and presentations, and have more on my calendar. I’ve been able to share about my business, missions in Liberia, and even share the gospel message. I still get nervous, just ask my family, but now I see what a blessing it is to get to share! 

So, here’s the encouragement…go do that thing that scares you and makes you want to drive home & climb back into bed. Try a new thing. God is going to use that big scary thing to change other people’s lives through you, He’s just waiting for you to trust Him & leap! 

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