In fairness, at the age of eleven I didn't know then that I could eventually speak for a living, but in hindsight it was a moment when I realised that I enjoyed speaking in front of an audience.
My Mum took it very seriously, and every day for three weeks had me repeatedly stand at the top of the stairs in our house while she (and our dog) stood at the bottom. She gently coached me to read slowly, with sincerity, to look her (and the dog) in the eye and to speak slightly over their heads.
My Mum knew a thing or two about making an impact too. She had been an ice dancer in her twenties and noticed in competitions that judges often missed the start of a skater's routine because they were busy talking to each other or still looking down and finishing their scoring for the previous performer.
She wanted to make sure that the judges saw every second of her routine, so arranged to have music that had a big introduction, but with a moment or two of silence before the piece really got going. In that brief moment of silence the judges would look up - and it was then that she started her ice dance routine.
Speaking in front of an audience is one thing, but getting their full attention right from the start is not necessarily so easy! But the first line of my carol service reading definitely did the trick.
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night..."
And so began my love of speaking. When did you first realise that you loved speaking in front of an audience?
By Philip Calvert