Welcome to SpeakingTALL. I am Jennifer Kennedy, and I used to be completely terrified to stand in front of a crowded room. In all honesty, my legs shook when I spoke in front of just four people. In fact, I was a complete wreck – sweaty palms, nervous twitches, loss of words, flailing hand gestures – the whole nine yards. I looked like a side show clown landing a plane.
Despite all this, I have come to enjoy the art of public speaking, and now I feel capable of standing tall in front of a crowd. This blog is about the journey to becoming confident in who you are and in your public speaking self. It is also about my other love: training (FYI, I am a “retired” teacher and now a trainer for an educational software company). I love helping people learn something new. That sounds kind of hokey, but it’s true. On SpeakingTALL, you’ll learn about the ideas and tips that have helped me and still help me become a better speaker.
Where it all began …
I was always into speaking, but I just didn’t know it. When I was younger, my dad would literally wake the family up early in the morning so he could practice his speeches in front of his tired troops. We’d moan and groan as we’d wipe the sleep from our eyes. But, my dad was doing what everyone needs to learn: Practice, practice, practice.
As a young adult, I often spoke in front of crowds. Or rather, I should say I mumbled quickly through words in front of a crowd. Words, that wouldn’t be defined as speech, came out of my mouth. I gave presentations for graduate school, education conferences, and staff meetings. I was also a teacher for 8 years. My students had the pleasure of hearing me give speech after speech. Mostly, about how they needed to do their homework and the fact that I could beat any of them in a dance competition.
After realizing I wanted to dive into this public speaking thing, I had the courage to join Toastmasters and I’ve been running my mouth ever since. I am a trainer, a teacher, and a person looking to find her speaking voice. For 2012, I have TONS of goals I’m looking to accomplish. So, join me in standing up and SpeakingTall no matter the situation.
I would love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org