In this week’s angel message, they spoke about how our circumstances may very well be providing an opportunity for another person’s growth. This struck home with me as I recall a challenging experience for my husband later provided a catalyst for an important experience in my life. As you read this story, please keep in mind my husband takes care in his professional appearance when speaking before an audience.
For my second speech in my Toastmaster’s International® Club, I told the story of my husband’s trip to Dallas, Texas, to participate in a panel discussion at a prestigious computer security conference. His taxi had a flat tire on the way to the airport in Phoenix, AZ. The support truck driver for the taxi service could not figure out how to enter the freeway to provide emergency services. A Good Samaritan stopped and gave my husband a ride to the airport, well after the plane departed. I drove to the airport, across town, and brought him home to later catch the next available flight. The only flight that could accommodate him was a “red eye” that night. Unfortunately, while onboard the midnight flight, a severe storm struck Dallas, causing all planes to be diverted to Austin. My husband sat on the tarmac in Austin until the plane was cleared to depart for Dallas the next morning.
He arrived at the conference at the exact moment he was to speak in the panel discussion. The conference was overbooked and there was shoulder to shoulder, standing room only, in the halls of the convention center. He had to squeeze his way in the door telling people, “I’m supposed to be up there talking right now!” Walking down the aisle, the panel host asked if anyone had seen my husband yet. My husband yelled, “Here I am!” He walked up to the podium and began his talk, unshaven, no sleep, wearing a sweat shirt, sneakers, and baggy jeans two inches too short. He was well received due to the information he parted and his speaking skills about computer security protocols and the standards committee work he led at the International Standards Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland. Later, it was reported my husband was voted the best speaker of the conference.
I learned something important from this story. It doesn’t matter what you look like. It’s the information that you present. My husband’s story also shows us that the Universe is taking care of us, even though it’s appearing as a challenge. I saw this story as a great one to use for my second speech. I didn’t know much about the details of giving a speech at that time, so I put nine points in my introduction. Way too many! Four is the norm. I began telling this story, and I literally choked up. My vocal chords tightened and I had tremendous fear reverberating through my body. Every nerve cell was ignited with anxiety. I couldn’t even get through the introduction, when I stopped and asked my fellow club members if I could sit down. They encouraged me to keep going and they would give me written constructive ideas to make it easier and better. I resumed, only to choke on my words again. This time, I could not utter a sound. I begged them, “Please let me sit down! I’m dying up here!” Still they encouraged me to finish. I miserably concluded my speech and sat down with my face in my hands. I died in front of an audience!
"Dying" was the exact thing I had to do in order to conquer my glossophobia. Dying helped me to walk through to the other side of fear. I received great ideas on how to reconstruct the speech. Two weeks later, I gave the speech, only this time it was written better and I no longer felt the fear.
This was an example how a challenging situation for one person, helped another person walk through their challenge. We just may not know at the time of our experience, that somehow, someone will benefit from it down the road. The angels say we are all helping one another. When we make a comment on someone’s blog, enter a Like on Facebook, and just being human, is helping someone, somewhere, face a challenge and grow.
Blessings and Love!