This past March, the social club I belong to had its Bi-Annual General Meeting. We have two such meetings: this one and the big Annual General Meeting in September. Such meetings are held to keep the membership apprised of what is going on with the club, and gives them the opportunity to ask questions, debate points, and effect change.
I am the club's current Membership Secretary, as such I have to give a report to the membership at these meetings and be available for all manner of questions, observations, and character assassination. At March's meeting, a member asked me about what direction our club needed to head in order to garner new members.
Anyone who has been to this club for any length of time knows that this place is stuck in the mid-twentieth century, and bringing it into the digital age has been slow and painful - I should know, I'm spearheading the effort! Therefore, when I answered the member's question I found that all of the passion I have for seeing the club succeed came pouring out.
I hate public speaking. But in that moment, I was the center of the universe. I felt every word come out. The people hushed. They listened. And for that moment, the general membership felt the spark of passion that I hold.
And just like that, the moment was over. But I took something away from it: the understanding that my passion for something is the key for my ability to speak in public. As soon as I made it back to my seat, I jotted down the following small mantra:
"When I talk about what I care about, my mind is calm and collected. My speech is exact and my energy is impassioned."
Simple, I know. But I do not want to forget how that moment felt, and I certainly don't want to forget that small key that allowed me to speak to an audience without stumbling over my own words and thoughts. I don't want to forget how I captured their attention and brought them into my mind.