28 Apr My First Proper Public Speaking Gig
Late last year I was asked to host the first International Women’s Day Expo at the PCYC in Lake Illawarra/Shellharbour. After many weeks of contemplation and cycling the possible events that could unfold whilst I, the guy that would prefer to write than speak, stood in front of people and talked.
I eventually accepted the role, realising that I dug the idea of a huge challenge for me, along with the excitement that it could bring in the sense of breaking me out of my comfort zone. After all, I always preach that type of stuff on here and to people around me in my life.
So, the weeks ticked by, and the 19th of March eventually rolled around. I had practiced my speech countless times during the week where I talked about my life growing up with my siblings and our single mum, the struggles she went through, and related it to the day’s topic. I felt good about it, but there was that still subtle, yet very existent nervous energy that was sitting somewhere in my stomach.
Do you know that feeling? You feel fine, you go about your day like normal, but there’s still that inkling of something that’s just not sitting right with you. It’s that feeling you get just before jumping out of a plane for the first time, or prepare yourself to take off on the biggest set of the day. It’s that comfort zone breaking feeling, where you feel like you could screw everything up, and be left with the task of picking up the pieces until the end of time.
It’s this kind of feeling that we should pursue more in life. It’s this kind of feeling that we need to challenge ourselves with for growth, awareness, and new skills.
Yes, I stuttered my words when I was starting the whole expo off on that Saturday morning, but after the initial overwhelmed feeling I had standing in front of all those beady little eyes watching my every movement, listening to the words that I was saying, I somewhat fell into it. I relaxed a little and realised that most of those people watching me, probably didn’t really care if I screwed up or moved my hands in a weird way. They’re just humans too after all, and a lot of them would probably be just as nervous as I was if they had to do what I was doing.
When you consider the interesting stat that people would actually prefer to die than stand up in front of people and talk, it really blows your mind, right? I mean, it seems ludicrous, to say the least that people would rather be dead than just perform some public speaking. But I can’t deny that I was kinda feeling those vibes too leading up to the day.
Which, might sound minor to some people, but this kind of thing was a real eye opener for me. It showed me that even though I was dreading talking in front of all those people, I was able to do it. I was able to defeat that demon. I was able to break that comfort zone.
Just like you could. Just like you can.
Whether we like it or not, challenging our comfort zones is exactly the kind of thing we need to do on a regular basis. For, they show us that there are literally a myriad of opportunities and skills out there for us to take on if we just bite the bullet and dabble in a few new things.
Besides, facing challenges, facing mental barriers, facing things that make us feel a little bit queasy, can surely only help us grow as people. And, who doesn’t want improvement anyway?
By the way, on the day I sat down with a friend and client of mine Michele Lumb to discuss the significance of the 8th of March and what it means, whilst also talking with Jen Davies who was nominated as an older talent for the day.
Check out the whole conversation via the media player below.