Next week I get a speaker at the event DENIAL: Being In It & Getting Out Of It. I reached out to Nikki Nigl after attending ABOUT WOMEN a few times. These events are a safe place so I jumped at the chance to conquer my fear of public speaking and honestly, the topic is something I am overly familiar with. It’s my luck that she had a spot open.
There are millions of reasons why people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. I’m doing my best not to let those reasons marinate and create a panicked stew that would set me up for failure. Whenever the fear starts to rise I try to focus instead on what I can do to be as prepared and adaptable as I can be.
I’ll refine my ideas into an outline and then into a single note card. I will do my best not to stare at the card the entire time. To help avoid that I’ll be practicing on my delivery the nights leading up to the event get comfortable with the words and make any adjustments needed. I’ve also been listening to speakers that I admire taking note of any tricks I can pick up.
Even with all of this preparation there are still endless variables that I will not be able to predict or control. I won’t know how many people are going to be there, what the person who speaks before me will say, if someone’s phone will ring while I’m speaking, or if a fire will start in the kitchen and we’ll have to evacuate the building. This is where I struggle because I have a habit of crumbling when things don’t go as planned. Reminding myself that there is so much beyond my control relieves some of the pressure and gives me more freedom to engage in the moment. I’m looking forward to this event comfortable with any outcome, genuinely excited to share and learn.
If you identify as a woman and are in the Chicago area here’s the event flyer:
I strongly suggest you check it out, even if you can’t make one Nikki puts ABOUT WOMEN on the third Wednesday of every month because she is an amazing empowerment wizard encouraging all of us to join the convHERSation.