I DID IT! Yes…I challenged my fear of public speaking last week when I spoke at the 10th annual Conference & Luncheon for the Union County Women’s Coalition. I apologize there was no blog post, but I was incredibly nervous to speak in front of so many strong women who I have looked to as leaders in my community over the past ten years. I had some practicing to do…
When I was asked to speak by the committee in the Fall, I immediately said yes knowing it would give me time to prepare and learn how to get rid of my nerves. I knew this was my chance to finally tell my community all about Core Compassion Project, and my personal story leading to starting this non-profit in hopes to be taken seriously. If I did well my community would believe in the project. If I did not deliver, I may look ridiculous. For those of you who speak in front of people frequently you may not understand my fear. Let me try to explain it…
The entire week prior I studied my presentation every waking hour that I was not working at the studio. I practiced in front of the mirror and in front of my daughter. My husband finally talked me into presenting it to him which made me extremely uncomfortable. I am not sure why, maybe because he knows me better than anyone and I might not like his feedback. Hoss told me that sometimes I try to sound more formal than I am. The truth hurts. He said…”Be yourself Jill. It’s why your studio is successful, it’s why people like you.” Ugh…maybe he is right, but I am a southern girl and “y’all” might not be appropriate. The conference was based on the book, 212 The Extra Degree. Basically, at 211 degrees water is hot. It only takes one degree to make the water boil. One step. One step to get you out of your comfort zone and make great things happen! Jill…one step to conquer your fear of public speaking. On the other hand, it’s like someone punches me in the stomach when I think about speaking.
I even practiced in the carpool line at school.
I decided to just put myself out there all or nothing. I was extremely prepared, and although I was nervous, I was excited to be given this opportunity and I was relieved the day had come.
I took this photo (above) during the break just before it was my turn to speak. I texted Hoss that I would be speaking in 5 minutes. I cannot tell you how calm I felt. Maybe a lot of prayers I had whispered, but I worked hard for this moment and I was determined to enjoy it.
Here are a few more photos…
There is nothing like the support of your friends!
I had the honor of sitting beside and learning from Pat Kahle (pictured above), Director of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.
It was exhilarating! Not because I was able to speak in front of these powerful business women, but I stepped outside of my comfort zone and accomplished a secret goal that I have had for many years. I can honestly say I think I did a good job. Am I a professional speaker? Not at all. Do I feel like I could do this again with less nerves? Absolutely!
Here are some tips I received from others to get out of my comfort zone.
1. Accept that you are less than perfect.
2. Imagine your success.
3. Break the fear barrier. Be prepared and enjoy the experience.
4. Try not to let your nerves make you too calm. Channel your excitement toward a great message for others.
Here is my favorite…
5. If all else fails, pretend to be a movie star!
YES I DID.
What are you afraid of? The reward is so much greater than not trying at all. Whatever it is…if you fail you still learn something about yourself. It takes hard work and determination. I am so grateful the Union County Women’s Leadership Coalition took a chance on me. You lovely ladies have no idea how much this made me grow and I am thankful for the opportunity. Is there anything you were afraid of, but chose to step out of the box and try? I’d love to hear your comments!
Healthy Please XOXO,