Public speaking infront of a group of critical strangers is universally mans’ greatest fear. Personally, I used to share echo this sentiment. I’ll admit it’s something I’ve avoided when possible. I’m not completely frightened per say — in the past I just didn’t feel comfortable speaking in front of a group of people whom I don’t know. My public speaking nerves take over.
Part of my apprehension is value based. If I didn’t have much to contribute, (translation: who cares what some dumbass like me has to say?) why potentially embarrass myself in front of a group of strangers? The risk-reward didn’t seem to check out… Much like how terrified I was starting this blog.
I firmly believe in not talking for the sake of talking – only speak when you truly have something to ‘say.’
The issue is vulnerability — we struggle to step outside the comfort and safety of our daily routines to which we can control.
I’ve come to realise I’m in a somewhat unique situation (narcissistic rant coming). I’ve accomplished my goal of startimg a career the social media landscape — making the transformation from full-time amateur athlete / student to working at a upstart tech company.
I was given the opportunity to speak to a group of university students a couple of months ago. The speaking gig was hardly something to boast about, it was a panel with three others. The subject of said panel? How to pursue a career in e business. The audience comprised of Undergraduate Business School students looking to carve out a career in the digital space.
Given that I was in a similar position to these students a year ago — I thought it a great chance to share advice and maybe weave a few tales of my journey.
Sharing and competition ~ #Winning?
Any pre-game butterflies immediately vanished when I introduced myself to the eager students — before i knew it, I even got a laugh or two out of the audience (shocker right?).
Sharing any knowledge I may have is pretty rewarding. Coming from a psychology background, I love to help people — the fact that these students cared what I had to say is a pretty amazing feeling.
Coming from an athletic background, I actually compare public speaking to competing in sport. My mindset shifted to competition mode when the panel started… For some crazy reason I wanted to “outperform” my fellow panelists (who were all amazing by the way).
Simply put… I wanted to win.
Express yourself: The rush = public speaking nerves no more
Starting this blog was terrifying. Much like anything else, there’s a learning curve. Getting comfortable with sharing my thoughts in writing took time, public speaking is similar.
Surprise surprise… like anything else, it takes practice.
The rush I got from public speaking was pretty amazing. I was shocked at the response from the students of my Alma Mater. I’m hooked and I can’t wait to speak more frequently.
Are you scared of public speaking? Does it get easier with practice?