Speaking Up for Jesus' Sake

The oft-quoted advice of St. Francis is “Preach and if necessary use words.”  Sometimes words are very necessary, but we are reluctant to use them. The first time I was invited to speak to catechists at a national convention, I didn’t think I could do it. As an extreme introvert, I needed time to ponder this. Besides, according to a newspaper article, public speaking is the number one human fear. A friend counseled, “If you can teach, you can talk.” I said yes to the invitation. I managed to speak without fainting on the stage, and I continue to speak to audiences. Admittedly, for the first few times before a talk, I was awake all night, filled with dread.  I still have nightmares that I’m facing an audience and my prepared talk is missing! Once when Fr. Eugene LaVerdiere was addressing a large audience, his microphone fell to the floor. He remained as cool as a cucumber. Afterwards I commented to him on how comfortable he appeared speaking compared to my stage fright. He said, “Look at it this way. Those people are ready to love you.” This helped. Now speaking has become one of my main ministries, and I actually enjoy it. click to continue

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