Thursday, 27 January 2011

More firsts

Yesterday I got to do the most amazing thing. I went to my first ever citizenship ceremony, and even better I got to speak at it. I got to welcome a handful of newly granted British citizens not just to life in the UK, but to living in the glorious part of the world that is Stirling.

I also got to do what I am learning to really enjoy - speak in public. Yes, it's still nerve wracking. Yes, I still stumble over my words. Yes, I do still worry about what to say. But at the same time, I get a real buzz out of it now. I think it's largely because the kind of things I'm invited to speak in public at just now are celebratory events and I have the opportunity to share in them with the various different audiences. Whether it's welcoming new citizens, congratulating new graduates or speaking to visitors, it's such a change from the normal grind - and as they say, a change is as good as a rest.

I used to be very shy as a younger person - the idea of speaking in public would have had me running for the hills. Even talking in class or, as I started working, speaking up in meetings was painful. I am so impressed that young people today seem to be more self assured and able to cope with that challenge. I take my hat off to anyone who is willing to give it a try. I was particularly impressed this week with the niece of a friend who not only took on the public speaking challenge, but did so in the form of delivering The Immortal Memory at a Burns Supper - awesome!

All I can say is, keep at it Flik - you're doing great already and just think how confident you'll be in your adult life. I salute you!

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