Want to try public speaking?…Start today!

About 2 years ago, after painfully realizing that my life was boring (to me), I decided to run a little experiment. I was inspired by Shonda Rhimes’ book :Year Of Yes and I chose to say YES to opportunities coming my way.

One of the things I wanted to try for a long time was to get more comfortable with public speaking. At school I would never ever raise my hand to give the answer to the teacher although I knew all the answers.

When I entered the workplace, I would prepare a phone call or meeting meticulously to make sure I had full control of the conversation and that I had all the answers to all possible questions. Of course these things can’t be controlled and I would literally freeze when an unexpected question would pop up.

And so when I was invited to speak at the opening event of a new co-working space in Dubai 2 years ago I said YES without even thinking. Because it was my year of saying YES to opportunities. And then I freaked out. And then I did it. And the most beautiful thing happened.

After the talk, a few participants came together to chat with me about the talk and we started exchanging phone numbers and that’s how the Creative Bunch DXB, a community of 100+ creative thinkers in Dubai started.

So what? Here are my top tips for you to get started:

  1. Write it down: on a post-it or in your journal, write down the theme of your talk, the size of the audience, and a deadline. Visualize it!
  2. Start small: I gave a few lunch workshops at work to get more comfortable speaking in front of people. Do it on something you love and add that to your credentials.
  3. Talk about it: you don’t have to announce that you want to be a public speaker, just mention it to your friends, family and network when the opportunity comes up. This will plant a seed that may bloom later!
  4. Put yourself out there! Look at local meet-ups in your field of interest and offer to host one to get more experience. And add it to your credentials!
  5. Say YES: when the opportunity comes up, say YES. When I said yes I had no idea what my talk would look like. You’ll figure it out, trust yourself.
  6. Enjoy the moment: take a deep breath, look at the audience, enjoy the silence before you start. You are there. Your vision is coming to life. Enjoy every minute of it, it goes by quickly!
  7. Celebrate!

I had the opportunity to do more speaking gigs since, including a TEDx talk and each time I am paralyzed with fear until the event and then overjoyed when I leave the stage. Go figure.

My work book “You Got This” can help you reach your goals with a simple step by step 4 stage process.

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