Months ago I received an email from the American Womens Group (AWG) in Oman. They were planning to hold a blogging event in a few months time and wanted to invite me to take part and present to their audience on my experiences. Of course I replied accepting their invitation with the mindset that It would be good exposure for my blog and it is very flattering to be asked.
Then I remembered…. I hate speaking in public.
Online I have a confident persona where I can project the version of myself that I want the world to see. In real life I’m actually quite shy and constantly doubt myself. Being able to hide behind a computer screen where I can edit images of myself and I don’t have to use my weird Scottish accent is more comfortable for me. Standing up onfront of an audience is horribly daunting.
As the event approached I was horribly nervous spending HOURS working on my presentation to include fancy colors and pictures for people to focus on rather than actually listening to me. This was my defense tactic.
What made it even more scary is that this was a paid event – people were actually parting with their money to hear me speak. I just didn’t want to let them down.
On the day of the event I stood at the podium and opened my mouth to speak and the strangest thing happened, all the nerves melted away. Suddenly I was confident in what I was talking about, people were laughing at my jokes and were genuinely interested in what I was telling them. I didn’t feel like I was wasting their time/money or that I was boring or confusing them.
With my new found confidence I told a few more jokes and stories making people laugh. My original planned talk was to last around 20 minutes but I finally managed to wrap up the real thing after questions at 62 minutes – quite an achievement.
I’m so pleased that I managed to surprise myself and enjoy the experience!
Thank you to April and the AWG ladies for taking the chance and inviting me, I think we both taught each other something that day.