In September 1st, I talked at the 2015 graduate & professional students orientation panel with four PhD peers. The topic focused on “What I Wish I Had Known When I Started My Doctoral Program?” It was a big success; people liked it. More importantly, it is a breakthrough for me.
This is my first time speaking in front of 200 people. Even back to when I was in China, I didn’t get a chance to do such kind of public speaking. If I was given the chance, I am not very sure I have the courage to take the challenge or not.
However, after one-year-practice in Toastmaster, I feel much more relaxed speaking in public. I am not anxious when I am preparing my speech; I know if I give myself some time to prepare and practice the speech, I would be totally fine, even in a large stage and a huge hall like this. Surprisingly, I enjoyed speaking in front of 200 people in a big hall. It turned me on after I spoke out the first sentence. This speech is even more successful than some of my speeches in the Toastmaster club, speaking in front of 20-30 people. Reflecting on the experience, I believe there are two reasons: first, I prepared and practiced this talk a lot, and I was eager to share my PhD journey with audiences; second, it was designed in an informal conversation format. In addition, I also find it’s so important to make the speech funny, interesting, and memorable.
I am so happy for myself, because I know how hard it is for me. BIG BIG hug to myself! Well done!