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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
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.