I know what you’re thinking. Me? Speak? Well, praise the Lord and pass the Valium. It’s a horrifying proposition for most people so you’re not alone.
I do quite a bit of speaking. Many of you have heard me speak either live or via live video feeds. It may surprise you to know that I used to hate and avoid public speaking at all costs. If I did have the opportunity to speak, my palms began to sweat about four weeks before the event and I didn’t sleep until after I’d delivered what I thought was a very shallow message.
One day I realized something that changed my life forever. I realized I had something to say that others wanted and needed to hear. Suddenly, I knew I had a purpose. I could sow into the lives of individuals in an audience and really, truly make a difference in their lives.
That revelation transformed me from a fleeing fraidycat to a bulldog that walked up on the stage and said, “Let me at ’em!” All I needed to know is that I could make a difference and the fear faded into insignificance.
Know what? You have something to say, too! All your experiences, life events, wisdom, blunders, mistakes, triumphs, tragedies are all precious golden nuggets that others need from you in order to prosper. Pouring yourself out and into their lives through your spoken word is the ultimate philanthropic contribution!
Yesterday, I was privileged to have a wonderful conversation with public speaking coach, Deb Sofield. I met her by listening to her radio broadcast on talk radio. She is filled with energy, and pours it out in the word that flow over the airwaves. I am always encouraged, enlightened and motivated with every broadcast.
Deb recognizes that most people–individuals just like YOU–have a passion but become paralyzed in terror when asked to speak about it. In her book, Speak Without Fear, she gives practical advice on how to conquer the fear of speaking in public. I very highly recommend it for anyone who wants to speak but is sidelined by fear.
Listen. You have something to say. The world needs what you have to say. Period. Get over the fear and give us your wisdom. We’ll all grow through your speaking and you’ll gain confidence each time you share. One day, you’ll be that bulldog saying, “Let me at ’em!”
How have you reacted to being asked to speak in public? Have you had a negative experience? A positive one? Share it here!