I gave my fifth toastmasters speech last week and it was my first speech that I executed without any notes. I was excited and nervous. My speech was meant to be entertaining and informative on a simple topic (the power of mm-hmm). With my crutch removed, I felt liberated but I felt like I was toddling and not walking, let alone hula hooping. I followed the general structure I had pre-determined but I missed many of my favourite lines. I felt as though I had totally flubbed it.
Of course, we are our own worse critic. When I listened to my evaluation and talked to my peers afterwards it turned out that they thought the speech was a success. They pointed out that I had engaged the audience, especially with laughter, and that the audience could answer most of the specific questions about my speech during the quiz which meant they were listening.
It made me realize that sometimes we are the only one that knows we have made a mistake. By letting go of the notes I was liberated from the ability to be perfect. I was forced to just trust myself and my preparation and go for it. It turned out that the speech did not have to be perfect to be a success, as long as it was organized, entertaining and informative.
Have you let go of a crutch and felt the weightlessness of freedom that it brings? Were you scared or invigorated or both ?!
Do you feel like something has to be perfect to be a success? Do you have a crutch you would like to let go of and hula hoop instead?