I am a writer through and through.
The idea of speaking in public scares me.
Sometimes there are things I want to say in a group setting albeit professional or social but ‘the fear’ kicks in.
Some say ‘fake it until you make it’. But that isn’t me.
I was asked to do a panel last year but I dismissed the opportunity because of ‘the fear’. Is ‘the fear’ me? Is it fear or self doubt? Definitely a mix of both.
But as someone who wanted to once upon a time be a Film Director, I prefer life behind the scenes. But if I want to go places in life, I need to get comfortable with speaking to a public audience. Not only that, I guess people gravitate to those who are confident (well somewhat). As I go to lots of networking events, it will be a great way to improve my approach as I tend to go solo. I’ll save that for another blog post!
At the end of July I was invited to attend the Public Speaking Academy’s Masterclass and here is what it entailed. To find out dates and costs, click here.
The day is split into two parts and I attended both. If you’re new to all, I’d recommend trying the first part and if there is any space left of the day, staying for the remainder.
Whilst it seems like a long day, there are plenty of breaks and this isn’t a skill you can improve in an hour, time is crucial in investing in yourself.
I attended the course with fellow travel blogger Debbie from Wanderlust Calls and it was great to have a familiar face with me. It made the day a little less daunting but that doesn’t mean you’re alone. Every attendee on the course is there for a common goal, to improve or practice their public speaking for a personal or professional aspiration.
The day started off with some icebreakers and tools to break down the notion of public speaking. Its not about simply standing in a group of people and delivering a speech. Its about being self aware especially when it comes to the way you’re dressed, your stance, your voice and your passion. Delivering a powerful speech is a combination of these all.
My weakness is waffling and not know what to say, therefore I either say too much or not enough. Even with words like ‘like’, ‘so’ and the umms and ahhs get in the way due to nerves. Throughout each exercise I became more self aware of my stance, my voice and my posture. Its all about being prepared and knowing your weaknesses and working on them. Breaking things down made it less scary, not quite fun, but it put my mind at ease.
By the end of the day I was able to speak about my chosen topic of ‘Why You Should Go To Events Solo’ and inspire a few other attendees in the room to do just that.
Since I have taken the course, I’ve become more away of the way words have impact and just how inspiring you can be. Not only that, I was asked to appear on a podcast and I accepted! I guess I have the face for it.
You can find out more about The Public Speaking Academy here.
Practice makes perfect.
Please note, my attendance at The Public Speaking Academy class was complimentary but all views are my own.