I’ve been speaking in public for many years. It’s been an integral part of my leadership journey. I can’t quite remember my first time standing up in front of a crowd of people, but I do remember how daunting it was. Public speaking wasn’t a natural skill for me, particularly since I am essentially an introvert. I remember the anxiety and the butterflies in my tummy and the sweaty palms. Fortunately today that doesn’t happen anymore… but I do still feel the excitement and energy before I get up on stage if I’m about to speak to a large crowd of people.
More recently, when I first stood up onstage to share my personal story, I felt very vulnerable. I found it difficult to expose myself so openly in front of so many people. But what I learned was that there are many people in the audience who relate to different things in your story when you allow yourself to speak from the heart and be vulnerable. When you openly share some of the tough stuff that you have experienced in your life, the stuff that has helped shape who you are, there is always someone in the audience who can relate to what you have experienced. Sometimes, there are people in the audience who are in the middle of some tough challenges. Just knowing that someone else has overcome similar challenges, can provide a sense of hope and possibilities for them.
We all have a story to share. I would strongly encourage everyone to think about how and when they might share their story. In my next post I will share some tips that have worked for me to build confidence in public speaking