Hector shares his experience at the recent AIS Public Speaking Workshop.
I decided to participate in AIS’s Public Speaking workshop because I wanted to gain more confidence in my public speaking. My job requires me to speak a fair amount, and while I’ve gotten better at it over time, it still doesn’t feel…right. We were tasked to produce a speech focusing on “Persuasive and Humorous Speaking.” I delayed writing my speech until the day of the workshop because I was nervous about over preparing. When I started jotting down ideas, I knew that I wanted to make my speech humorous by using observational comedy. As persons who stutter, we’ve all been in uncomfortable situations, like dating. I took a pre-existing experience with speed dating, embellished a few details, and wrote a skeleton of my final speech on a 4×6 index card. By the time my skeleton was finished it was a complete mess. I had blurbs written in shorthand with arrows going to and fro. I practiced a few times and each time the script changed a little. I crossed out some lines, made some more arrows, and filled practically all the whitespace on the card with my words.
By the time I was called up on stage, my heart was pounding. But I had my index card! It was like a warm blanket. It would save me!
When I got up on stage, I realized I couldn’t read any of what I had written. I have really, really bad handwriting. Like atrocious.
But I got through the best way I knew how–by being myself!