Last Monday, I presented my first info session for my “Conquer The Fear Of Public Speaking” workshop and was excited because it was for the first Meetup group I had ever joined and had learned a lot about Internet Business from them in the past 9 months. This was my time to shine and give value to all those that had assisted me and I was pumped.
I arrived early, connected the projector, got settled, then began meeting members of the audience. After receiving a nice introduction from Franco, I turned on the projector and the image on the screen was distorted. Franco came to assist and my heart rate began increasing. Then I tried using the clicker and it was not moving the images forward…what a nightmare, why did I need to be different and use a Prezi instead of Powerpoint or Keynote..ahh!!!
After a couple of minutes, the awkwardness hit me and I’m thankful for the anxiety self-management techniques as they were definitely put to the test. 10 minutes later, the screen size was fixed, accepted that advancing the slides would require my finger and the presentation began. This was a great test on how to remain calm and proceed when obstacles are encountered. It also affirmed to the audience that I had practiced what I preached about reducing anxiety and remaining calm:)
The presentation went well as I got in the groove and relaxed, but it felt a bit off and I wasn’t completely satisfied. After the presentation, I had mixed feelings as I was presenting the following night to a larger crowd and began questioning if this was the right direction to pursue. I called my friend Matt, the social media wizard who has assisted me tremendously in focusing my business direction and he made one observation that shifted the focus of my presentation and workshop.
I had been positioned as the teacher of how to become an amazing public speaker, but this was not me, I wasn’t a great speaker and that was the point. There was a disconnect between the marketing, my self-belief and I felt it. I wasn’t a great speaker, but who cares?
What matters is that I’m actively booking engagements to improve my speaking and presentation skills.
You do not become a polished public speaker without experience and in order to gain experience, you must get up and take the first steps. This is what I have to offer, I relate to the average person that is afraid to speak in public and offer an example of what is possible when you take active steps to improve yourself.
With this adjustment in how I positioned myself, the pressure was off, I felt free.
I came home exhausted from presenting and began dissecting my presentation to reflect what I believed in and how I feel, that at times, I feel nervous speaking in front of a group, and serve as inspiration for everyone to do the same.
The next night, I felt better from the start, being true to myself was freeing, I had great energy for the presentation and received excellent reviews from the group. The messages are still coming and knowing the audience connected with my self-belief has been a huge boost. I feel comfortable presenting and am excited for the next opportunity, a couple more tweaks will be made and I’m sure more will follow.
If you’re wanting to speak in public, accept that you won’t be a pro from the start. This may sounds obvious, yet many people place tremendous expectations on the outcome, of being perfect and that is not realistic. You will make mistakes, these are learning opportunities, what’s important is that you take the next opportunity to speak.
This is success, your presentation can always improve, taking action is real opportunity to make progress.