“I’d rather die than do public speaking.”
So often you hear people express sentiments like that.
I have to confess that I was a subscriber. The idea of doing a 60-second elevator pitch filled me with terror. I loathed the idea of speaking to a video camera. Addressing a group for 10, 20 or 30 minutes was simply unthinkable!
One of the reasons for this was that I have a macular condition, and I read extremely slowly, so I can’t really rely on notes.
Another reason was a lack of self-confidence.
So what did I do to overcome this?
Having run my ‘Confident You’ programme for a while now,
I realised that I would be a good candidate for my own methods!
Namely Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping), Matrix Reimprinting and visualisations.
I also took great advice and learned that it was possible to overcome my obstacles.
I was shown the importance of good preparation as well as delivery. A Voice coach, Suzanne West, worked heroically with me so that I would have a minute’s “pitch” ready for each month. We practised presentation techniques and rehearsed each pitch so that I could deliver convincingly without reading .
When it was my turn to be featured speaker at my networking group (gulp!), it was Suzanne who gave me the idea of using my visual disability as a subject, showing how I overcome this challenge in my professional life.
Once I had presented my first talk, I was amazed by the positive feedback, both at question-time and afterwards (on social media, for example). I was then snapped up by other groups to do the same, and at the time of writing, I have done this talk six times – including one at less than 24 hours’ notice when the scheduled speaker suddenly dropped out!
Who’d have thought a year ago that I could even contemplate such a thing?
The pictures are from a recent talk – the wonderful photos are courtesy of Claire Gardner from redpoppyphotography.co.uk Some of these pictures show spectators trying on special glasses – and also the new confident me!
I’d be happy to chat to anyone who wants to know more.