How I got over the fear of public speaking..
Back in school, whenever we had to make a talk in front of the class, I was petrified. Thinking back it feels a little funny considering that they were all familiar faces and friends. But it sure didn’t feel funny at the time. I can relate to the study which shows that fear of public speaking ranks above the fear of death..
I remember one time at secondary school I went purposely to bed with my hair wet and switched the a/c to freezing cold. I got sick and could stay at home, and was relieved because I skipped the book presentation in english class..
Fast forward around 8 years. I had just started over a month ago in my first business. We were just about to start our weekly seminar in Helsinki. I was just part of the audience. Or so I thought.
Just before the start of the seminar my mentor pulled me to the side and said that we have a situation before solution, one of the speakers called in sick. He continued – “I believe that you are ready to step in as a substitute”..
I could feel my heart almost jumping through my throat. My fingers started to sweat and I couldn’t breathe..
But I had learned that when you get an opportunity that gives you a chance to step up to the next level, you should say yes.
My mentor told me to relax because I had given the same talk in a one to one situation many times. He gave me a tip to concentrate on my breathing and he asked me to picture him in the audience as one big person and just look at him during my talk.
Coming on stage, I remember almost fainting. I don’t remember anything about my talk. But the audience gave me support and the feeling of euphoria after my talk was unexplainable. I got praise and constructive feedback from my mentor. I wanted more.
The next month I was organising my own seminars to my team and since then, I have been talking in front of smaller and bigger audiences constantly.
Even today before I go on stage, I have a bit of fear and I feel a bit nervous, but overtime I have learned to embrace it. And I love the adrenaline rush that kicks in during the talk. That’s a sign that even after fifteen years in the industry, I still love what I do and am constantly learning and growing to become better. ❤️
“All leaders have fear, they just have learned to act despite of it”.
The best thing about giving speeches is that the person giving the talk learns the most. 🌟
So the next time you are offered to give a talk and it feels super scary, just say yes. Everything will work out great and you will grow to become a better version of yourself. 🔥
If someone would have told me over twenty years ago, when I turned the switch in the a/c to freezing cold before going to bed, that in the future I would be giving keynote speeches to thousands of people internationally, I would have asked them to check their medication. 😁
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” ― Richard Branson.