I am pretty sure that many people will find this hard to believe, but I have a huge trepidation for public speaking. It makes me nervous, and I tend to start talking really fast just to hurry up and get the words out. I find this pretty funny because lately I have been hosting networking events, and speaking on grant writing and forming a 501c3 non-profit. In front of large groups of people. By myself. You can see where the anxiety comes in at…
Since a teenager, I’ve always labeled myself an introvert. I would rather stay in the house and watch a movie or sleep than go out and be around a large group of people. Because that notion was ingrained in me, I carried that into my adulthood. So all of the anxieties associated with that has followed as well. When I had my daughter and was venturing back into the working world, my mother made me the PR & Marketing person for her non-profit. Which means that I was the point person who went out to support coordinating agencies and introduced our organization, explained what we did, and which insurances we worked with. Remember when I mentioned that I do not like large crowds? Before I went to the first meeting, I sat in the car and tried to talk myself into it. I had to carry napkins with me to wipe away the extra sweat, take deep threats to keep from having a panic attack, and pray A LOT and ask God to please give me the words to say! My speeches started off being 6 minutes long. I timed them. Seriously. The crazy thing is, within those 6-minute-speeches, we gained most of the clients that we have now. Everyone always thought that I did such an amazing job speaking and explaining everything about the company. In my head, I kept asking “do these people know that I barely gave them any info and told them to basically read our pamphlet?!” I just couldn’t believe the positive feedback that I was getting just from 6 minutes. So, I made the speeches longer. My 6 minute speech turned into 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. And the more I spoke, the more people listened and followed whatever I was explaining. This was the birth of my public speaking alter ego. I think I’ll name her Veronica. Veronica was born in 2014.
Fast forward 4 years and I now own my company. I realized that there was a need for information to be passed around because of the questions that I was being asked in regards to starting a business that I thought everyone knew. So, I put together my first workshop. I was the last person speaking. And, I didn’t mingle around the room like a normal host does. Because I was afraid!!! Lol. What was I supposed to say to these people? How do you have small talk? What is the purpose of small talk? Lord- I am sweating right now just thinking about it! But- the people who attended the workshop LOVED IT!!!! Especially my 10 minute talk on grant writing. Which prompted me to do a 2nd workshop, except on a much larger scale. And, again, I was the last speaker. Can you guess why? This time I forced myself to do a better job at walking around and talking to people, taking pictures, and being more social. My workshop segment was a lot longer this time around and again, those who attended loved the event. I must say, Veronica has been doing a great job with people! Lol.
Public speaking is extremely scary when you aren’t a people-person. Even more scarier when you’ve taken 5 public speaking classes and STILL have not gotten a handle on it. Lol. But, having a business later ego has helped a lot. Forcing myself to have more events and attend more events has been a help as well. I’m still learning how to ge a great host and keep the crowd engaged, but I think I’m off to a pretty good start.
Be legendary Kings; be extradorinary Queens.