Where do you think you will be in 5 years time?
It was less than 5 years ago when I was still suffering with one of my biggest phobias: speaking to an audience. Due to two -obviously- traumatic experiences in my childhood when I felt embarrassment at school, any small situation where I had the attention and eyes of a group of people would make my hear jump in palpitations, face redness and clumsiness.
How did I manage to surpass this? I firstly got conscious about the problem. Back then, in London, my career as Freelance Graphic Designer was booming, and I was getting into some great opportunities working at top class Advertising agencies like Ogilvy and Y&R, where you could find yourself in a boardroom with Account managers and CEOs to defend and present your work.
My fear was undermining the value of my work. So I made myself a promise to train on it, like a gym class.
After launching my fiction novel with two big events in 2014, I put myself in situations that required public speaking. The next one was attending to a networking event at a London members club, where I presented myself and my services with a loud microphone to a group of entrepreneurs. Then I did a workshop on LinkedIn at Spanish Chamber of Commerce… today I am teaching regularly to University students at the biggest room in the centre.
This is what I have learnt during the process:
- The best way to start is by starting today! Putting deadlines and dates to begin will only drag the problem longer
- Do not be hard on yourself if you make mistakes, doesn’t go as planned or even start to panic and leave. Just by taking action you are already working around the issue
- Talk about your fear openly, even when you are at it, human connection is important both sides of the stage: they will appreciate your honesty and will help you relax
- Talk about what you know – it seems obvious, but you won’t have to rehearse as much when you talk about those things you know best, and that also helps to overcome anxiety.
When something is limiting yourself, you are the only person who can free you out of it.
It is not easy, but yeah…how satisfying it is after you break through!!!
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