Live, Learn, Grow

My name is Jennifer, I am a French interpreter and I have a fear of speaking in public. Houston, we clearly have a problem…

Yesterday, I got a call from a local interpreter to fill in for him for an hour or so during the Black Mayor Annual Conference. Mayors from around the world are meeting in Atlanta to discuss global and local issues. I was very honored that he called me and extremely excited about this opportunity, but there were unfortunately moments when my nerves got the best of me.

I think it was a combination of their high status’s mixed in with the fact that this was only my second conference doing simultaneous interpreting since I started out in my new career. You would think that being in a booth would erase the fears, after all, I’m not the one on stage. But it doesn’t. There is still a sense of being judged, a sense of wanting to deliver a perfectly accurate interpretation and a huge fear of missing out on words.

So tonight, to take matters into my own hands, I decided to start attending Toastmasters. Marcela Jenney-Reyes told me about this organization that helps people become better speakers and overcome their fear of public speaking. A part of me is dreading this, and a part of me is excited. But either way, in order to become a more confident speaker and less anxious overall I must face my fears head-on…right?

So, here’s the lemonade, I made of the lemons.

Live- go for it, accept the opportunities presented to you, but,

Learn- and be aware of weaknesses so you can,

Grow- and do something to improve.

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6 thoughts on “Live, Learn, Grow

  1. I bet you were a lot better than you thought, Jen, but I can completely relate to that fear and even partial paralysis that comes with being the center of attention (in a way) and communication hub for everyone. I get that dreaded feeling once in a while when the whole courtroom is staring at me. Little secret: I used to be a terrible public speaker in graduate school, but then I practiced and got better and now I love it. Who knew? Toastmasters is a great choice, you will love it! Go Jen!

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  3. Have you ever considered publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?
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    • Hi, Thanks so much for your comment! I truly appreciate the support. 🙂 I have never thought of writing an e-book to be honest. That just seems like a daunting task! I did however guest author once, but lately I have to admit that I have been neglecting my blog. IS your blog about Duct cleaning? If so, then I’m sure how I could contribute.

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