by Lila Shrestha, VPE, NST Toastmasters Club

Glossophobia. What is it? The fear of … You guessed it. Public speaking.

After fifteen months at NST Toastmasters Club, the D25 incentive, Nemileta Networking Nine, prompted me to visit other Toastmasters Clubs, to deliver speeches to new audiences, and more importantly, to challenge myself to break my fear of speaking in front of others.

In December 2021, with the help and encouragement of D25 leadership, I started visiting different Toastmasters clubs. Within two months, I had visited nine clubs: Thumbs Up, Smiling, Irving, 629, Centex Clearly Speaking, RTTC, Leaders-Speakers of Tomorrow, San Angelo, and Airport Toastmasters. At each meeting, I either delivered a speech or served in a club role.

Delivering Speeches Outside of My Club

Firstly, I visited Thumbs Up Club, where I delivered a speech to my first different audience. Zoom helped hide my nervous demeanor. No one seemed to notice my sweaty shirt. Secondly, I completed the Managing A Difficult Audience project among hecklers at the Smiling Club. But I survived! Lastly, I delivered an in-person speech at the Irving Club where I was challenged to make eye contact. I tried my best!

Participating In Club Roles

I then transitioned into helper roles. I started to feel quite comfortable after visiting 629 Club, Centex Clearly Speaking, and RTTC Club. At Leaders-Speakers of Tomorrow, I was challenged by serving in the General Evaluator role. I rounded out my participation in the #Nemileta9 by visiting both San Angelo and Airport Toastmasters. I can finally say, No glossophobia!

No More Fear

Participating in this incentive was enjoyable, and I learned a lot. It was a bit scary, but the clubs whole-heartily welcomed me and made me comfortable. I now feel more confident in taking roles, conducting meetings, and speaking to unfamiliar audiences. I also have a better network with fellow Toastmasters. Several of the clubs I visited were highly experienced, and I gained new perspectives in learning, sharing, and growing in the Toastmasters platform.

I plan to continue my journey to refine and redefine myself. Nemileta Networking Nine is a great program that gave me an opportunity to network, re-skill, and gain the confidence that I needed to effectively communicate in any situation including at work or volunteer organizations.

Nemileta Networking Nine gave me the courage and confidence to overcome my glossophobia!

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