Emceeing the Alberta Caregivers Association “2011 Caregivers Day” event at City Hall in Edmonton.
Was I nervous? You bet I was!!!
Did I love being the emcee? Absolutely!!!
Now, according to The World Health Organization, public speaking is the #1 fear across the globe!! This is something that most people do hundreds of times a day; talking, chatting, speaking. Yet for millions, perhaps billions of people in the world, public speaking IS their greatest fear!
I’ve had many colleagues and friends say to me, “ Glenda, I just don’t know how you can get up in front of audience and talk!!! You are so courageous!!! I’d rather die that do a speech in front of anybody, anywhere, anytime”.
So, I’ve learned that the majority of people don’t like (some detest) to stand up in front of an audience; many don’t like ‘having’ to do presentations at work (some have even admitted to calling in sick on the day they were supposed to do their presentation), and some people can become physically sick when they are asked to speak in front of an audience.
Many folks have asked me, ‘Aren’t you nervous? Don’t you wonder what your audience is thinking?
My reply, “Yes, I can be extremely nervous depending on the audience I am speaking to. But for me as a speaker, “being nervous’ helps me focus all of my attention on the audience, why they’ve come to hear me speak, and the message that I’m promising to deliver I’ve also found that ‘being confidently nervous’ keeps one humble “
As a Toastmaster and professional speaker, I’ve learned that we can spend way too much time thinking about ‘our’ speech or ‘our’ presentation, when really, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE AUDIENCE!!!
Of course, preparing and practicing your speech/presentation are of the utmost importance.
Being passionate and knowledgeable about your topic (no mater what the topic is) are also of the utmost importance.
But I believe that THE absolute most important is: ‘knowing and caring’ about your audience. Before speaking at an event, I always remind myself, that without the audience, I’m just one person speaking to an empty room. Keeps one humble for sure.
Now, do I personally find it quite extreme that some folks would rather die than stand up and speak in front of an audience.? Yes, I do.
But then, we ALL have fears, don’t we? I certainly have my own fears that I’m constantly working on overcoming.
Hmmmmmm, public speaking is one of my greatest passions in life. Perhaps, it does take courage to be a speaker…
“We are all much more courageous than we know”