Updated: Jan 19, 2019
There is a silence as I stand in the front of the room and survey the audience in front of me. Fear floods my body. I take a deep breath. Trembling, I begin.
I begin telling a story from my life; a difficult, personal and emotional part of my life and the hot pizza concept that changed it all. My greatest fear is not that I will forget what I want to say, but that it will all be a flop, no one will be interested, and I will be standing here feeling embarrassed and a fool. I am scared of what people will think of me. As I get into the story, there is a response from the audience, there is laughter – I’m surprised, I don’t think it’s funny – but this is good, my confidence builds. I continue, the teacher within me coming out, I’m able to relax. The audience keeps laughing at points in my story and even though it still surprises me, I am able to laugh with them. I make eye contact with individuals in the audience, we create our own relationships, they smile, nod, agree and align with me. I direct the story to its climax, invite the audience to apply the concept in their own lives and the speech is finished. The audience is standing, smiling, clapping! I am so relieved, happy and excited!
It’s one of the bravest things I’ve ever done. Why did I put myself in this crazy, vulnerable and dangerous position? Well, I had the opportunity to take part in a public speaking course called Fearless Communicators. It was an intense week. Five other women and I practised voice exercises, story construction, and story delivery. It wasn’t easy, it dragged up stories from the bottom of our wells, stories we had drowned long ago, and that was very tiring and scary. We were trying to be fearless.
Is there such a thing a fearless? I’m not sure, but what I tried to do was feel the fear, but do it anyway. And I’m glad I did. I’m glad because I know for sure that everyone in that audience – men and women - understood what I was saying, they all related to my story and the hot pizza concept, and more than that, told me it was valuable.
Are you ready for hot pizza?? Yes, you are! You deserve hot pizza. Get ready because here it comes!