I seem to have been facing quite a few of my fears this year: heights – 3 mountains in 24 hours, open water – various lakes around Worcestershire and most recently: public speaking. I have no idea how Theresa May stands up and speaks in front of Parliament, the EU Summit and the World’s media about very important Government business. The prospect of standing up in front of my friendly networking group was enough to give me sleepless nights.
It wasn’t as if I was presenting on a difficult subject: it was literally ten minutes talking about me and my business – simple you might think? It should be and when you think about the situation rationally what is likely to go wrong? I guess there might be a technical issue but with a networking group that consists of Web designers and other IT savvy people, that wasn’t really going to the be the case. Everyone might get bored? Yes, this is a possibility, but I doubt anyone would show it in 10 minutes. I might freeze and get tongue-tied mid-sentence? It’s possible but my presentation should prompt me and point me in the right direction. So, when you think about it rationally, there wasn’t really any reason to worry and it did in fact go well and dare I say it – I actually quite enjoyed it.
So, what have I learnt from this experience? Well perhaps the key is to try and think logically about what is scaring me/you. Why is it scary? In the case of heights, open water – it’s a fear that I might fall/drown but unless I put myself in a dangerous situation e.g. an unsupervised lake/walking along a tightrope with no support (extremely unlikely!) those fears shouldn’t become a reality. In the case of public speaking, the fear is of making a fool of myself but that is only likely to happen if I haven’t researched the subject matter or not allowed myself the safety blanket of a decent presentation. Therefore, as in all areas of our lives, if we’re aware of the pitfalls and consequences and put measures in place to give ourselves the best chance of success – we shouldn’t really have anything to worry about.
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