I am really, really excited!!! In a bit more than a week I will be speaking at this year’s GOE Energy Conference in Eastbourne with lots of fabulous colleagues from the energy field. What makes it even better, in my presentation I will talk about two of my favourite topics: Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and public speaking.
This should be easy for me, right? Well, let me share a little secret with you: I am also really, really nervous!!! Call it stage fright or whatever you like. It happens to all of us to a more or lesser extent as I know. That offers some small relief but still leaves the question how to deal with it.
Every person has their own reason for feeling nervous about standing up in front of an audience. Accordingly, they will all have their own way to steady their nerve and restore some sort of calm and poise.
In my case it is preparation that helps me calm down. I plan my speeches, I think about the interactive parts of my presentation and I will do a few dry runs to get a sense for the whole (i.e. will what I have planned actually link together and does it fit into the alloted time). Of course, there will also be plenty of EFT tapping going on.
Despite that there is still plenty that can go wrong on the day, for example if I spilled coffee over me 5 min before my speech. And then there are the parts that require audience participation. There is no way of guessing if:
anybody will turn up (if not it would solve the questions about audience participation though)
my audience does turn up but will stare at me blankly and remain silent
they will come up with so many ideas that they will take over and all descends into chaos
the contributions are exciting except they’re not on the theme I had planned etc.
Better not dwell on that then… But you are right, the good thing is that I have done this kind of talk before and I have the confidence that – even if things don’t go to plan – I have a few tricks up my sleeve that may see me through.
And once I start thinking like that again, excitement trumps anxiety. I can be curious about (instead of dreading) what will happen and what my audience will come up with. Turning something daunting into a learning opportunity is key in these situations.
That’s what I love about coaching people and helping them find the confidence to give speaking a try – they and I will learn in so many exciting and unexpected ways. To see people grow in confidence and start to enjoy what they previously dreaded is amazing to watch.
We all are inspiring speakers – if we dare to tell our story.