Becoming a Speaker

I’m terrified of public speaking.  I used to have anxiety attacks at the very idea of having to speak, let alone what happened when the time to speak finally came.

But speaking is part of my future career and it’s soon to be part of my current career.  I’ve landed my first non-scholastic speaking engagement.  Surprisingly enough, I’m fine with it.  It’s going to be a relatively small group in a safe and welcoming atmosphere on a topic that I’m enthusiastic and knowledgeable about which will also be important and relevant to my audience.  It’s a golden opportunity that should allow me to build my skills while also giving back to my community.  I’m looking forward to it, in an anxious sort of way.

I learned many, many years ago that, as a writer, speaking would be required.  This was one of those things I considered totally unfair.  I mean, part of the reason I wanted to become a writer is because it was a career that would allow me to share my stories and my thoughts without having to be up in front of people, and this totally ruined that vision.

Things have changed since then.  But the need to be a speaker as well as a writer really hasn’t.  One big, huge advantage is that some of this speaking can be done online, with video or audio recording equipment.  This provides your audience with the experience without requiring you to actually perform in front of a live audience.  Big bonus for people like me.

But this doesn’t get you out of the whole speaking gig.  Even if you do most or all of your speaking online, you still have to build the skills to do it well.  So, do it.  Start small.  Keep it safe.  Build yourself slowly.  Take your time.  Start now.  By the time you need to do it to propel your career forward, you’ll be ready.

About Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie created and produces in answer to a call from God to use her experiences and gifts to help others. Stephanie is also the author of and two books that can be found on that site. Stephanie strives to share her love, faith, and talents in an inclusive manner to help others who know spiritual pain and who know the bitter taste of the dregs of despair.
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2 Responses to Becoming a Speaker

  1. acflory says:

    I used to teach so that cured me of my fear of public speaking – after all what can be worse than being pelted with bits of chalk? Yes, that was the roughest school I’ve ever taught at. Nonetheless the thought of having to promote myself or my work in public is a whole, different bucket of scary. I won’t wish you luck just a quiet ‘go get ’em!’

  2. I haven’t done the teaching thing yet, but my graduate degree will qualify me for that, and an internship is part of my plan. So, I’m hoping it will cure me, too.

    The think about promoting oneself is that you have to believe in yourself. It’s okay that you’re not ready for that. The hope is that when your book is ready, you’ll be ready, too. And you’re already working on building the platform you’ll need. There’s no rush. Even small steps towards that brings you ever closer.

    Maybe starting with a reading of your work or a story that is important to you would work for you. Make a podcast recording, air it on your blog, do the build up thing. That’s promotion, too.

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