This past weekend, at a tournament, I was given the opportunity to talk in front of 50 women about my book, 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick.
One of the chapters in my book is entitled Don’t Make Decisions Based on Fear. One of my top fears is public speaking. Knowing that I would be nervous, have cottonmouth and sweaty palms, I spent a week writing and rewriting what I would say. I started with a large pad of paper and then worked my way down to 36 3X5 cards.
Throughout the week I chopped away at my 36 cards until I had the main points I wanted to make down to 19 cards. A friend encouraged me to reduce it further to 8 cards and just put a few words on each to help me stay on point. When all was said and done I had 12 cards in my hand.
I practiced in the mirror. I practiced by talking into my phone and listening to my voice. I practiced in front of my two dogs. They didn’t exactly look impressed with what I had to say.
The night before the event, several friends gave me advice: Take water so your mouth isn’t dry. Don’t read from your notes, speak from your heart. Find a friendly face in the crowd. My personal favorite, relax and be yourself. The reason this is my favorite is because I am not a relaxed person, and in these kinds of situations I tend to look for the exit sign.
About 15 minutes before I was to be introduced to these lovely ladies, Sally (one of the women I was assisting at the tournament) bought my book. She told me that throughout the morning she had found me easy to talk with and confidant, so she was therefore interested in reading my book. I thanked her and confided to her that I was nervous. She simply said, “You will be fine.”
With two minutes left before I was to speak, Sally asked me how many books I wanted to sell. I told her I thought 10% of the total amount of people there would be a reasonable expectation.
I started my talk by admitting that one of the chapters in my book was facing fears. I then went on to say that one of my fears was talking in front of a large group. I looked around the room as I said; “I am choosing to push past it by talking to you today about my book 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick.”
I saw many in the audience with encouraging smiles. The next few minutes flew by as I relaxed my body, and spoke from the heart.
I am grateful to everyone who gave me the encouragement to face this fear. I am a firm believer that there are many kind and unselfish people in this world. I am most grateful to Sally, who had been a virtual stranger only hours before, for once again confirming this to me. And yes, she got me a little over 10% in book sales that day.
Although I will be nervous next week when I speak in front of a group at a Yoga Studio, I know I will be fine. I had proven to myself that this is something I can do even with sweaty palms and cottonmouth.
What about you? Do you allow your fears to prevent you from doing something you truly want to do? If so, check out my book 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick. Through awareness of how and why we react the way we do you will make healthier changes that will ultimately give you the perspective needed to improve interpersonal relationships. There is much to gain and little to lose.
You can buy the printed or e-book version by clicking this link, http://amzn.to/1T2u4sr
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