LAST night I did something I’ve never done before. As an adult.
I spoke. In public. To a group of people. About blogging.
I know. Impressive huh?! ;-)
I was nervous, I was frightened and I felt a little bit out of my depth. Last time I did any kind of real public speaking was way back at school, and I’m 35 now, so you know, it’s been a while.
When I agreed to do it a month or so ago, I knew it would be a challenge. And I knew it would be pushing myself way out of my comfort zone.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in life and if there’s one thing I stand by, it is THIS.
Whenever you feel the fear, the only way to get rid of it, is to tackle it and face it head on.
I used to fear, fear but now, well now I try and see it as an indicator. Of something I need to look at, something I need to do. Less of a scary monster and more of an encouraging, persistent ‘friend’. (Of sorts anyway)
And so even though my stomach churned and even though that annoying little voice in my head kept asking me “why the hell are you doing this?” I went and I did it.
And I survived people! *high fives*
And…(wait for it, there’s more!)
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. Crazy huh?
I’m sure my little speech about blogging was far from perfect, but I gave it my best shot, I had a go and low and behold, although I would never have thought it, I even enjoyed myself.
As I sat there talking to people about my blog, trying to cover everything that I’ve learned so far, I actually felt incredibly happy. And I felt like I may even have helped a few people too, which is all you can ask for really.
I came home on a high, proud of myself for giving it a good shot and woke up this morning with a huge smile on my face.
Because I tackled something I was scared of and all in all, although it’s not really my place to say, I feel like I did a pretty good job.
Public speaking has been something that I’ve been terrified about for years. Hell, just the thought of it is enough to make my blood run cold.
But today, today I feel different.
Today I feel like I could do it again. Like, I’d actually like to do it again.
Today I feel a little giddy. Like this may have just possibly opened a whole new world.
Have I gone bonkers?
Maybe. But this is what happens when you grab fear by the scruff of the neck and look right into its eyes.
The nerves become excitement.
The challenges become opportunities.
The impossible becomes possible.
You change. You grow. And you end up feeling pretty amazing.
Fear always appears as our enemy but can become a really good mate, if we listen to what it has to say.
So what else did I learn?
And just in case you want to know, just in case it will help someone out there who’s currently having cold sweats about the thought of doing something similar, here’s a few things I learned about public speaking from last night.
– Be prepared: Think about what you’re going to say, practice, makes notes and take them with you.
– Look your best: Wear something comfortable but fabulous. Something that is ‘YOU’. When extreme confidence is required, I always find that red lips, heels, glamorous jewellery and a well styled barnet works for me.
– Breathe and smile!: When we’re nervous our voice tightens up and we tend to speak faster. So breattthhhheeeeeeeee. And don’t forget to smile too. It helps, honest.
– Engage with your audience: Lift your head up, look at people, smile (again) and ask questions. It makes it less frightening.
– Know that nerves are part of the deal: You will be nervous. Your voice may shake and your cheeks may flush. That’s ok. Just ignore it all and carry on. Nerves happen to everyone. The key is not letting them chew you up.
– It’s ok if you screw up: S**t happens, no one is perfect and neither is any speech. Think of it as a learning experience and be kind to yourself. Just doing it takes guts.
– Have people on your side: If possible, rope in a few supporters, a few pals who will nod and smile in all the right places, when you need them too. Having a few people in the room, in your corner, helps massively.
– When it’s done, you’ll want to walk around like a champion (kinda!): You did it! You tried and hopefully conquered. Public speaking is no mean feat so you’ll feel pretty proud, no matter how it went. So let yourself walk around like you’re a champ! Because you are my friend. You battled the fear and just by having a go, you won.
Huge thank you to Crafty Business Barnsley for inviting me to speak last night and to all those who attended, asked questions and listened to me ramble on. It was an absolute pleasure and you were a very kind bunch. Thank you. X
Pic: Masque Photography