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    Believer MagazineRachel Aviv2/1/0725 min
    10 reads7 comments
    10
    Believer Magazine
    10 reads
    10
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    • jeff
      Reading streakScout
      1 month ago

      Great read! I first heard about Toastmasters years ago on a programming forum as a way to conquer the fear of public speaking that is endemic to our kind. I was put off though by the "speakers are actors" mentality. I'm not interested in getting good at speaking about things that I don't know anything about or don't care about. It sounds like Speaking Circles International might be a better fit, but it kind of just sounds like a lame knockoff version. Maybe I need to attend another group first to get over that kind of judgement and insecurity!

      • Pegeen
        ScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        Ha! Your comment made me laugh out loud!

      • DellwoodBarker
        Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
        1 month ago

        This is such an Excellent Read. Glad to see you’ve given this a Boost-er (note to self: to read your recent Rural ER read, as well) AOTD shot.

    • Pegeen
      ScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      An absolute 10! I had a complete breakdown freshman year giving a paper on Vitamin K in nutrition class. It’s one of those scars that still brings on the flush of humiliation, which was over 46 years ago! Yeah, anyone who is authentic and super confident when in front of an audience has a super power that few possess. I’m thinking about Shark Tank - it’s a real test of confidence and self possession for those who can captivate and entertain such a seasoned, powerful group of individuals - and the millions watching. The young kids that nail it are remarkable.

    • bill
      Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Loved this. I have had many opportunities to deliver "speeches" to large groups of people (including the eulogy at my grandma's funeral) and it is always really scary for me.

      Since COVID, I'm concerned that some of my basic social & interpersonal skills are suffering. I get way more nervous in smaller-stakes situations with fewer people.

      This story (which is very well written! Rachel Aviv rules!) is an awesome reminder of the positive power of "fake it 'til you make it." Hopefully we will all emerge from this social isolation with a renewed sense of, like, "f*ck it - yolo," and unprecedented superhuman powers to speak our minds and hearts.

      🗣💕

      • DellwoodBarker
        Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
        1 month ago

        Since COVID, I'm concerned that some of my basic social & interpersonal skills are suffering. I get way more nervous in smaller-stakes situations with fewer people.

        I doubt this is True, Franny. Whatever vulnerability exists there will cover over quickly for you, I Imagine. You are one of the most confident, buoyant, skillful, fun communicators I know. You are James in this read above to me. I am more Wilson. I could actually see you teaching these courses Rachel does here. I love that she takes on the role of the amateur, lacking confident speaker, then professor of others as such and then snapshots the larger Toastmasters realm. Solid.

    • DellwoodBarker
      Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
      1 month ago

      The title of this read made me excited as I was once a Toastmaster back in my middle school/high school 4-H days and I found it to be a Deeeeply Valuable experience. I remember we would all meet at Piccadilly Diner Cafe in St.Vincent Mall in Bossier City. One of my best friends Sarah and I were regular participants. Back then I was less anxiety ridden and Toastmasters helped build confidence. I highly recommend the Toastmaster experience. I could benefit from it these days as well. In Sophomore year of high school I would also be a part of speech and debate which opened a door to making more friends during an isolating rough move away from my hometown.

      This is an excellent read! A few highlights include:

      He spoke clearly and passionately: “Ladies and gentlemen, this is where my story, Grandma’s story, and your story all connect… You were all part of the plan for me…. Grandma teaches us to stop asking why and just have faith.”

      “OLD MYTH: public speaking is about mastering PERFORMANCE,” he writes. “NEW REALITY: public speaking is about EXPRESSION OF OUR AUTHENTIC SELVES.”

      But in many situations, our “Inner Speaker” is not welcome. It’s not always possible to close the gap between what we say and feel. Long before Carnegie, public speaking was associated with duplicity. The Greek word for both oration and acting was hypokrisis, and as a public speaking teacher, I was the ultimate hypocrite.

      Carnegie appealed to my students’ impulses toward gossip and drama. “There is nothing so interesting to ourselves as ourselves,” he wrote. He believed that all speakers should begin their presentations in loud and splashy ways, like whistling or screaming or tossing cigars to the crowd. He tells the story of one orator who opened his speech by shooting a pistol—but this was too much, Carnegie concluded.

      Also, the section spent on anxiety and public speaking as genetic while intriguing feels limiting to me. A fall back excuse to just say “oh well” rather than persevere or improve within the ability. We are all capable of anything.