Transforming Public Speaking into Creative Writing
Updated: Jun 9, 2022
Poetry and short stories are my main creative outlets – I’m even considered “the poet” of Do What’s Write. However, I never want to box myself into this identity. Instead, I have been branching out toward avenues I never would’ve considered or felt comfortable trying before.
The past two years in Toastmasters have opened up a new creative outlet for me – speech writing and public speaking. Toastmasters International is a global organization focused on building leadership, presentation, and public speaking skills.
I first joined my company’s Toastmasters club when I transitioned from a back-office spreadsheet-focused role to a client-facing role. I love to talk to people, but I know that when I am unprepared and unfocused, I tend to ramble, stumble over my words, and sound unprofessional. My biggest fear in my new role was that I would sound inexperienced to our clients, even after I gained enough experience to know what I was talking about. I wanted to sound organized and confident. My time in Toastmasters helped me find that voice and balance it with a reasonable level of casualness to set my clients at ease.
I’ve been able to practice my speaking through speeches I’ve prepared about almost any topic I want – not necessarily work-related topics. I’ve been able to talk about my writing, the Do What’s Write Writer’s Group and Podcast, social media/public relations marketing, and more. I prepare for most of my speeches with either full scripts (that I avoid reading word-for-word, of course) or at least bullet points. This has also been great practice to avoid my tendency to “just wing it.”
Drafting these outlines with an introduction, body, and conclusion have helped me get my thoughts down on paper. Once they’ve been written, I realize that not only do I have a speech in front of me, but I could even have the beginning of a story, background for a poem, or the basis of a blog post.
Now that I’ve learned that I can transform my public speaking exercises into my existing creative outlets, I’m excited for opportunities to prepare speeches. I can’t wait to see where else they take me in my creative journey!
Have you found inspiration in an area of your life that you never expected? We’d love to hear about it!