I’ll never really understand why he took a liking to me.
But he did.
His name was George Stokes, and he was the “Voice” of Baylor University. Whenever a game was called over the loudspeakers, Dr. Stokes was at the microphone.
What Can You Do When You Are Terrified of Public Speaking?
I was a freshman in college and a member of his Speech Class.
About 3 weeks into the semester, we had to give our first, graded, 3-minute speech from memory.
Each of us took our turn presenting our speech and receiving our feedback.
As we were exiting into the hall after class, Dr. Stokes called my name and asked to speak to me.
When all of the other students had left the area, he came over to me and stood about 2 feet away from me. He was about 70 years old; I was only 19.
He smiled and got up right in my face and poked his finger into my Adam’s apple.
Then, he called me by my maiden name and said, “Maddox, you can be really good at this, and I’m going to show you how.”
Over the course of that semester, Dr. Stokes invested in my life and in the lives of my classmates. He taught us the speaking essentials and instilled into my life a confidence that I had never known before.
It was my desire to speak to groups and to allow God to use me, but I needed a little push.
God used Dr. Stokes to “nudge” me right on out into public speaking. I stepped out and never looked back after that class!
And, I believe that there might be someone reading this post who has a desire to speak publicly.
You really want to stand and address groups, but you are afraid, nervous, scared, or just lacking a little confidence.
I’d like to encourage you in the same way that Dr. Stokes encouraged me.
So, “_(Insert your name)_, you can be good at this, and I can show you how.”
I’m partnering with my friend Valerie Murray today to answer this question:
“How Can You Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking.”