Personal Experience Time: Public Speaking
This last week I had the privilege of not only working with the Paradigm Shift team once again, but I also got the chance to speak to a great group of Educational Talent Search students in Pensacola, Florida.
This is a big deal to me because it is my first time public speaking, giving a motivational speech. Yes, I’m a teacher and an actress, but trust me when i say that giving a speech is different for me. I’m not a complete natural when it comes to public speaking, but I do prepare a whole lot. That’s exactly what I was thinking when Kyle the intern of Paradigm Shift asked me if I wanted to give a keynote. For the speech, I had to come up with the topic, what I’d say, what I’d use for the presentation…I knew I wasn’t a natural (I get nervous and ramble). My mind pondered on things that could go wrong, how I could mess up. However, I was presented with this opportunity and took it. I dream of these moment: public speaking and motivating students.
So was I going to pass it up? No! Just like my fear of heights, I wasn’t going to let a little nerves and self doubt keep me from taking this opportunity.
Taking this chance and not being a natural or experienced, I knew I was going to have to put more effort into it. I was going to have to super prepare, ask for solid advice, and repeatedly practice. I had to set myself up for success.
I did all of those things in about a week. I thought about topics I was passionate about and could genuinely speak about. I researched so many quotes and videos. I created a prezi. I created tokens. I asked speaking advice from both Ryan Eller and Jerrod Murr. I practiced presenting my speech several times, both on my own and in front of great supportive friends.
I’m very proud to say that the speech went over very well, and I enjoyed every minute of it 🙂
My advice then is this:
- Don’t let fears, nerves, or self doubt hold you back from great opportunities. (You may surprise yourself 😉 )
- Sometimes things take some extra effort. It is worth it, so set yourself up for success.
- Setting up for success for public speaking: Prepare, ask for advice, and practice.
P. S. I will be sharing my presentation with you soon, and I can’t wait!