National Honor Society was one of the many service organizations at my school, and the only one that had an application process. Naturally, the exclusivity associated with it was attractive, which is why I applied and joined the organization. I didn’t think I would have a huge involvement with the group, simply because it had relatively straightforward requirements of monthly tutoring and service.
In order to join the organization, we had to be inducted at an official ceremony where all of the officers gave speeches on the four pillars of National Honor Society of Service, Scholarship, Character and Leadership. I found the oratory skills of my classmates immensely impressive, especially considering my own difficulty with public speaking.
By the end of my junior year, I heard that there would be an election to choose new officers for the coming school year. I decided to run for kicks. I was looking forward to college and hoping that a possible officer position would look good on my resume. The process involved an online application and a 2 minute speech. Since I’m me, I found the application to be easy and was stressed out of my mind for my speech, which I practiced for hours on hours to make sure that it would be perfect. I knew every single person in the room I would be presenting to, but I didn’t want to be the one to read my speech or mess up my memorized speech.
When it came to my turn to speak, I was shaking as I gave my speech, yet delivered it to near perfection. My errors went without any notice and a few minutes later, I discovered that I was the newest president of NHS. Within months, I found myself on that stage where I had seen the impressive speeches the year before, giving another speech. I doubt I inspired anyone like the prior officers had, especially since all I heard about the entire ceremony was praise for the speech that followed me for its misattribution of quotes to fictional characters.
NHS unexpectedly helped me to deal with my fear of public speaking and build a skill that I completely lacked, which was incredibly important.