A Stranger's Silent Encouragement

Though she was nervous about giving a speech, a friendly face calmed her fears.

by

A Stranger's Silent Encouragement

My job as community relations manager for a United Way after-school program involved providing information to parents’ groups, but while I was comfortable on the phone or speaking one-on-one, presenting to large crowds terrified me.

I’d started attending weekly Toastmasters meetings, trying to get over my fears. My boss misunderstood and assumed I was a pro. She decided I should give a fundraising speech to a stage agency of 400 employees, hoping they would make a payroll-deduction pledge.

I nervously composed my speech, incorporating attention-getting techniques and humor, just as I’d learned. I developed visual aids and compiled anecdotes. I practiced in front of the mirror. I asked God to give me confidence. On the dreaded date, I still felt inadequate.

Stepping up to the microphone, I stared into the audience. My attention was drawn to a chubby man with red hair, sitting in the back row. He was looking at me with a million-dollar smile and intense interest. Something about him put me at ease.

I delivered my whole speech, focused on the red-haired man. He laughed at every joke, nodded his head in agreement whenever I emphasized a point. He seemed to cheer me on.

The speech was well-received. I hurried down the stage stairs, eager to meet my cheerleader. Though the back row had yet to empty out, he was nowhere to be found.

Download your FREE ebook, Angel Sightings: 7 Inspirational Stories About Heavenly Angels and Everyday Angels on Earth.

Related Videos

View Comments