Ever had the fear of standing out, the fear of criticism, the fear of ridicule, the fear of being an outcast?

Public speaking causes fear in most people because most people do not want to risk being ostracised. The fear of being different prevents most people from challenging themselves, trying new things and seeking new ways to solve their problems or push themselves forward.

In my own journey, I was very comfortable, or busy as I always told myself, and didn’t have the time or the right motivation to take the stage. It took a major life-changing event for me to take the time to really make myself begin to stand out and put myself in uncomfortable and exposed positions.

At the start talking in front of crowds of people I felt extremely nervous, I’d write everything down that I wanted to say and practice over and over. The problem was that I would rush and blurt everything out, if I made a mistake I’d mess up the speech entirely. I had to learn fast and do better, I wasn’t going to give up or give in.

I took some tips from some great TED talks and realised it’s not what you say, whilst the content is valuable and important, it’s how you say it. So, I started to concentrate on my body language, moving on the stage, using the right tone, speaking my words slowly and changing my facial expressions. These have helped me to relax and deliver better speeches. Over time I can work on including the audience and improving the content. Little by little I’ll get there, here is my lastest:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvED2Iy708Y

So, what have I learnt by standing out from the crowd and talking in public? Well, number one I am still alive! Secondly, nobody knows what you are going to say so as long as you are confident in your content you will be fine. Practice speaking your speech to yourself time and time again, do it in the morning when you have first woken up, in the day in front of trusted people, at the end of the day when you are tired. Most importantly when you practice you have to say it out loud.

I have learned that pushing myself and taking myself out of my comfort zone makes me feel good and makes me feel proud of myself. It is still a little weird watching myself and hearing my own voice on the videos, it never sounds the same as it does in my head!

Public speaking is good for anyone that wants to take a good hard look at who they are, push themselves and be proud of their achievements. If that’s not enough encouragement just ask yourself “What’s the worst that can happen?”.

Easy choices, hard life.

Hard choices, easy life.