From personal experience I know what it is like to let opportunities slip by because of a fear of speaking. I would avoid opportunities that involved speaking, and let’s face it most of those do, I would delegate or if really pushed would attempt it. Then I would spend days agonising over how bad I was and I would focus on what went wrong and would say – that’s it never again, not going to try that – I just can’t speak. Anything of this sounding familiar?
Three events changed my attitude and subsequently the focus of my life.
The first was approx. 20 years ago when my mentor at the time pushed me to speak – encouraged me to take that step and start speaking. I remember my mentor saying – Trish everyone has a story or a message inside – you can step up and share it. I joined an organisation that helped me on my journey and I discovered I absolutely loved speaking and training. That led me to starting my business with my business partner. We did a lot of corporate training helping organisations with their presentation and speaking skills.
The second event was the 2002 Winter Olympics. I watched Steven Bradbury win his Gold Medal in the speed skating. I listened to his interviews and the many discussions following the win. Steven became my role model – he had done the work, did the preparation, got through the semi-final, turned up and was ready to grab an opportunity if it came – which he did. He was prepared!
The third event was in 2007 when we lost our son Craig to suicide. I had to give the eulogy at his funeral. That was a get it right, do it now situation. No second chances. I did it and was able to do due testament to his life. It was many weeks later that I had a big AHA moment and realised that it was my skills in public speaking that helped me do that eulogy. I hope you never have a similar situation but I do know that you will have many situations, maybe crises, more hopefully opportunities that you need to be ready to handle competently and confidently.
So that is why I love mentoring and coaching and working with my clients so that they have the skills, the confidence to step up and grab those opportunities and do so effectively. I share my story and my Bradbury Principle – Be Ready, Be Prepared.
We often wait until the situation is on us and we suddenly need skills and strategies to do a presentation or speech. At that time we run around in a mad scramble doing the preparation. Don’t wait – be proactive.
As another mentor said recently –don’t do the preparation to speak, rather be prepared to speak. Be ready to step up any time and seize that opportunity.
That confidence will help you in business and in your personal life. Whether it is to be ready for an interview by the media for your expertise or having to go up to the school to talk to the teacher about your child, you will be able to do so knowing that you have done your preparation.
So are you ready? Are you prepared – prepared to speak, prepared to live by the Bradbury Principle? Are you ready for those opportunities?
Public Speaking Mentor Coach Author