My Personal Journey
I have had a love-hate relationship with public speaking for most of my life.
Outwardly, I became good enough at it during my high school years to become the guy that people turned to when there was a speech to be made. I loved the feelings of recognition and accomplishment when I did it well.
Inwardly, I hated the feelings of anxiety and fear. Most of the time I would suffer in silence beforehand and I just took it that that was the price for the good feelings afterwards.
However, as I got older I found that my fear and anxiety around public speaking got worse. Much worse. There were a few occasions when my nerves got the better of me and I came apart during work presentations. It was embarrassing and I felt like I had lost credibility.
In 2003 I decided to work on becoming a consistently good speaker and joined an amateur speaking organisation. While I became really good at speaking within the organisation, I knew that I still needed something else to build my confidence and connect with an audience in ‘real life’ situations. In fact, a couple of those embarrassing moments happened after I had been in the program for several years.
Around 2011, I got serious about finding solutions that would work for me. Through a combination of formal and self-education, learning from mentors, and putting myself in lots of challenging (and sometimes gut-wrenching) situations, I have worked hard to identify the things that I know really make a difference.
Now, yes I still get nervous at times but the difference is that I know exactly how to refocus my mind and calm my body to get things back on the rails so I can present with confidence, clarity and connection.
What inspires me to share what I have learned with others?