Thursday, May 10, 2012

Speaking Of ...

You truly gave a wonderful program. You were so engaging and had a great sense of humor.

I am surprised that this is something you have just started feeling comfortable doing,  you seem like a seasoned pro.


A couple years' ago, I would never have believed that this message described me and a recent speaking gig. In fact, I would never have gotten such a message, because although I am asked to speak to business groups occasionally, I dreaded doing it.

And I'm sure that reluctance showed.

Basically an introvert by nature, I had all the reservations of most people who hate/fear/dread public speaking. Worst of them was the idea that when I got up to give a talk, I sounded nervous, unprepared and amateurish, even when I had practiced and practiced.

Then my friend, Lilli Cloud of Cloud Communications, offered to help. "We'll set up the recorder and get you on video. That way we can see what you're doing and how I can help," she said.

Somehow, this idea filled me with horror. I was sure my worst fears would be realized, and in front of Lilli, no less. But she persisted, and finally I went through with it.

Lo and behold, I wasn't half bad! All the glitches, pauses and stammers I felt were sabotaging my communications just looked like normal speaking. We tried it again, with me more relaxed and focused on telling stories, rather than reading my notes. Better still!

I never thought I'd say this, but I've become something of a ham. I enjoy speaking to groups and get up in front with confidence and even a glimmer of delight.

Why tell this story? It truly is about confronting your worst fears and realizing - they're not so bad. I'm still not bungee-jumping or getting on the next super-coaster, but speaking I can do. And I can recommend Lilli, whose talents are richly appreciated.

They say people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. I can honestly say I'm not afraid of either, these days!

3 comments:

  1. Tap your inner ham! That's what I tell my tutors and aspiring teachers--shyness is our natural persona, but we can stretch it when we want to,
    way to go--

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can recommend Lilli too. And yes, you are a good speaker--fun to listen to.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, I truly wouldn't have thought it possible without Lilli's help.

    ReplyDelete