I read that women tend to struggle with speaking in public more than men because of appearance and likability concerns. Putting that aside, here are some additional challenging attributes for me:
Last year I received many requests and opportunities to present in public and I was determined not to say no to any. I was a panelist at different events, presented often, sometimes in front of hundreds of people and managed to give an inspiring closing remark while going through a tough point in my career.
If I can do that, then anyone can too! The key to conquering your anxiety is simple. Don’t picture the audience naked, Prepare!
Before any event, I spend time thinking about the message, the tag line which I want people to leave with. I then build up my notes and stories from there. As I do that, I refine the tag line few times until I’m 100% satisfied with it. Then comes rehearsal. That super uncomfortable process of presenting to the walls, feeling so silly and hoping that my neighbors don't hear me (I live in a condo with poor sound insulation). I also attempt every now and then to rehearse in front of a mirror, only I get distracted by checking if I'm due for hair roots touchup or examining if I need a facial soon!
On the day of, I give myself a boost of confidence and remind myself that I’ve been through so much more than speaking in front of a crowd. “Easy peasy” (for those who watched season 2 of Stranger Things). I also wear a piece of jewelry (often my Yara butterfly necklace) which reminds me that I am a strong woman and I can do anything I set my mind to.
Till now, my heart pounds as I get up on a stage or in front of a large audience, but with repetitions, I learned how to conquer that feeling and enjoy the experience instead.
Sweet Yara – inspiring evolution, one beautiful dream at a time.
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