How a Year of Sweating Through My Shirt Paid Off in a Big Way

Facing my fears led to one of the best days of my life

Gregory Russell Benedikt
3 min readAug 1, 2022


Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

About a year ago my sister asked me to be the best man at her wedding.

I was thrilled, honored, and terrified.

Nearly all of my public speaking experiences had started and ended with sweaty palms, shaking legs, and a quivering voice.

But since I have the best older sister in the world, I wanted this speech to be special.

I also wanted to be able to deliver it without blacking out or having a panic attack.

So I did what most people do when they have a big, scary, audacious goal.

Absolutely nothing.

Waiting & wallowing

I spent about 3 months wallowing in a mixture of self-pity, fear, and apprehension.

Whenever I thought about the wedding I turned into a sweaty little potato.

I would spiral as incredibly unhelpful thoughts filled my mind:

Why wasn’t a born a great public speaker?

Maybe I can get out of giving a speech?

What the hell do I do with my hands?

Image from the legendary film, Talledega Nights

The cave I feared to enter most

This went on until one day I got sick and tired of losing sleep over what should be one of the happiest days of my life.

So I moved into step #2 of what most people do when they have a big, scary, audacious goal.

I googled it.

I was immediately confronted with the solution I knew to be right but dreaded most.

I needed to join a public speaking club.


It turned out that there was a group called Toastmasters that met near me.

Apparently this is a public speaking club, not a group of individuals who get together to toast bread.



Gregory Russell Benedikt

I help people gain clarity and take action on their biggest dreams 🚀 Book a free call at to see if we’d make a good team!