The other day I made an online reservation for my husband and I at a campground. It was an arduous, anxiety filled and time consuming task. The boxes that had to be filled in were numerous and some of the questions left me baffled. Also, I needed to recall a password, which I could not remember. Since I could not remember ever making one for the account, I had to come up with a new one by following their exact recipe; 8 characters, case sensitive, no more than 2 numbers. After much time, a few deep breaths to ease my desire to give the task up, I finally succeeded in completing the reservation. I gloated in my moment of glory and then answered a phone call. The call was from a pastor inviting me to speak to his congregation about my book. Without any hesitation, I accepted the offer.
Speaking in Public
Sharing my success story with my husband about securing a spot at a campground, I then told him about the invitation to speak in front of an audience. He was more than a little baffled. He found it odd that making an online reservation for a campsite was much more stressful for me than the idea of standing up in front of an audience.
“The opportunity to be in front of an audience excites me,” I told him. “I don’t need to remember a password, answer questions I don’t understand, or dig out my credit card number. I just get to tell my story.”
My story lives inside of me and has more than one dimension. In speaking with the pastor who invited me to his church, he asked what my focus would be.
“Forgiveness,” I told him.
Then he wondered how I’d get that message across. I surmised my points.
“I’ll contrast forgiveness with unforgiveness. Bitterness, anger and resentment weighed my heart down until I understood that forgiving those who’d hurt me was needful to heal.”
“But why forgive?” He asked.
“I have no right to hold a debt over anyone’s head because God does not hold one over mine.”
“Bingo!” he exclaimed. “That’s the message, that’s your point. See you next Sunday.”
After that conversation, I felt grateful, gleeful and excited. Unlike making that online reservation, nothing was necessary. No password, no boxes to fill in, no indecipherable questions to answer. Just show up, stand up and speak up.
Why bother with public speaking? Public speaking is not for everyone, but those of us who are made to speak in public know who we are. We are the ones who show up, stand up, speak up and tell our stories.