I have an admitted fear of public speaking. Apparently, I’m not alone as I’ve heard that people fear public speaking more than death. That’s right, people would actually rather head off into the ‘unknown’ rather than talk in front of a room full of people. Go figure.
I started vlogging in an attempt to help me get over my fears and I’m proud to say that it’s actually working! The more I film myself talking, the better I get at articulating my thoughts in a concise manner out loud, instead of relying heavily on my writing skills. I still have a few bad habits (like saying, “But um” or “But anyway” when I’m switching subjects), however I’m fully aware of those crutches and I’m working on them.
Still, video could only take me so far. I had to face my issues head on and actually do it. I was offered the opportunity to be the Mistress of Ceremonies for one of my all time favorite book club’s annual conference. The Renaissance Men’s Book Club here in Memphis have been huge supporters of my book and I was honored when they asked me to facilitate the program with them. I was also scared out of my mind, but how could I say no to the men who gave me the title for my next book? I owed them! It also helped that I knew it would be an intimate setting: 15 to 20 people tops
The day of the event, I took a deep breath, prayed and decided to just be myself and let things flow. I’m proud to say that I did a pretty good job! At least that’s the feedback I got from the book club, and I’ve been told that I’ll be invited back. All in all, it was a total win.
I know that public speaking is something I need to continue to get comfortable with as I grow as an author. It’s one of those things that the more you do it, the easier it becomes. For me, 2016 is all about conquering fears, and I’m well on my way to defeating the public speaking monster!
How do you prepare for public speaking situations?What are you most afraid of doing that you know would benefit you if you got over it?