The crowd is cheering my name. I have just delivered an Emmy Award-winning speech again…
The only problem is that I was in the comfort of my steam-filled shower.
Which means I could not write down my notes.
By the time I stepped out of the shower and got dressed I had forgotten everything I had said in my head.
Oh, wow how sad as it was definitely award-winning.
Can you relate?
We have all these remarkable thoughts swirling around in our head and they never come into fruition, because we simply get on with our day and we never put them into action.
I deserve First Prize for this. I have had imaginary arguments with people, planning everything I am going to say or want to say to them to the last detail, and I never do. I have planned the next move in my business strategy of how I am going to cold call clients and have my sales pitch ready BUT then I lose my nerve. Fear and doubt set in and POOF, nothing. I have planned my next marketing video and it is incredible at the least. I can hear people saying, “WOW, I love this video! I love the message she is sending to me and I fully relate.” I lose track of time moving on to my next task for the day or being sidetracked by my doggo that has had an accident in the lounge, (wink, wink you know what I mean) or my son begging from his bedroom that he would like his breakfast and coffee served to him in bed. Just like that the video is a distant memory.
So, the trick here is to have a small notebook ready, permanently close by for when genius hits, and you don’t want to lose the magical moment of your thoughts.
You know those small notebooks that you write your TO-DO List on, or the one where you secretly write down which guy or gal you swiped right for on Tinder? LOL
Yes, well that one.
Those little pocket rocket pads of paper that you get at your local stationers that come in all those beautiful colours that are sparkly and fun. The ones where you can buy the rose gold glitter pens to match. OK, sorry, moving off point here… I may have a slight addiction to beautiful stationery.
So whatever thought-provoking speech you are planning whether it is for work, your studies a special party or a family gathering, planning is where the fun and prep is.
Prep well and you will ace your speech.
The most important part of your speech will be what message you are trying to get across to your audience. They are less worried about seeing you in your red-soled Louboutin’s, your little black Gucci dress, or who you know. You will be remembered by how you made a difference in their lives or how you made them feel with your message that you are there to impart on them.
So, take the time to plan your message.
Remove yourself from everyone.
Find a quiet space where you can be inspired.
I find that early in the morning, or if you are a night owl, then later in the evening is best when everyone is sleeping, and you can gather your thoughts and ideas and put them onto paper.
Do some research online.
Once you have planned your award-winning speech then…
Practice, Practice, and practice some more.
You can video yourself and play it back to see if you want to change anything.
Ask someone to look at it and give you feedback if you are feeling brave.
Ask someone you trust and will give you honest and constructive criticism.
I used to have panic attacks if I thought about doing a speech.
At school, they used to call out our surnames to do orals in alphabetical order.
Oi Vey, I used to sit there waiting panic-stricken. The closer it got to my name the more frightened I became. I am not sure of what I thought might happen to me, but it felt like hell.
As an adult, I was asked to be my cousin's maid of honor at her wedding. My first thought was, “Oh WOW, what a privilege”, but I did not realise that I had to then do a speech. “Oh, my golly gosh no turning back”.
I was lucky to get away with it and I bailed. Well, I thought I got away with it.
I was then asked to read a bible verse. Eish!!!
All the way leading up to the wedding I was having nightmares. I stood up there in front of everyone, their eyes piercing into my soul, and I felt my throat closing, my voice coming out all squeaky and I was shaking like a leaf in my stilettos.
I vowed that this would be something I would master come hell or high water.
We need to do so many speeches in so many areas of our lives.
We cannot escape it. So, we might as well master it.
I mustered up the confidence to do a Public Speaking course and it was the best thing I ever did. It took me completely out of my comfort zone and helped me to be more courageous.
You also need to know that sometimes murphy gets involved and things don’t go according to your perfect plan. So be ready to improvise if you have to.
As a novice for my first ever real deal speech, I was invited to run a Women’s Empowerment Workshop focusing on realizing your goals through Vision-Boards.
I was nervous, excited, and everything in between.
The beauty is our bodies do not know the difference between nervousness and excitement.
So, I chose to believe and relay the message to my body and mind that I was excited, and this was my opportunity to shine and put everything I had learned about Public Speaking into play.
I researched my subject, I planned, I practiced, and I was ready to shine.
BUT then good old Murphy got involved …
I was told upon arrival that I could not use my PowerPoint presentation due to electricity issues. OMG!!! I needed a hole to creep into for a quick escape, but I had no choice.
I had 120 women looking at me waiting to be inspired!
So, I ran with it. Luckily, I had practiced, and I decided to be authentically myself and HALLELUJAH it worked, and I survived.
I felt elated that I had overcome my biggest fear of talking in front of a group of people.
Never spend your time worrying about what anyone thinks of you.
The first time is not comfortable, you might even make mistakes.
If you have touched, changed, or inspired just ONE person then your job is done, and you have achieved your goal.
More importantly, if you were like me then you too would have overcome your biggest fear.
You will be ready to run meetings at work, carry out your besties wedding speech, or one day your child’s 21st speech, bringing the whole crowd to tears. You never know where life takes you so be ready to be courageous and step up to the plate.
I hope this has inspired you to put your hand up next time and say pick me, I want to do the speech.
It’s your time to be seen, heard, and be fearless.