Saturday, July 25, 2009

Craft to Heal speech

In my quest to get the word out about the therapeutic benefits of crafts, I’ve been pursuing speaking engagements. On July 29th, the Craft and Hobby Association ( has asked me to speak at their annual industry meeting in Orlando ( I’m so excited!
To hone my speaking skills, I’ve been going to Toastmasters with a fellow writer--and it’s really fun. To tell the truth, I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do.

Toastmasters ( is a nonprofit group dedicated to helping people become better public speakers. Many people get a BAD case of the nerves before an audience and Toastmasters lets you practice speaking in a safe environment. I don’t have a big problem speaking in front of people (though I’m more comfortable in front of a camera, thanks to my TV acting training, than a live audience), but it never hurts to practice.

Everyone is supportive (there’s a lot of clapping!), kind, and constructive with their criticism and effusive with their praise. My favorite part is when we get the “ah” count—someone at each meeting is assigned to keep track of all the ahs, ums, likes, you knows, and other placeholder words speakers use when they should actually pause or be silent. It’s a great thing to be made aware of—although oddly enough, once you notice you’re saying “um” a lot you tend to do it more (at least at first).

1 comment:

Trista Hill said...

Congratulations on the speaking engagement! You will do great.

Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your project, though I realize now that I may have used the wrong forms -- !

I love the work you are doing and think it's so important -- the arts are the perfect tool to facilitate our healing on so many levels. Thank you again for you and for helping to bring this all to light.