Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Public Speaking - Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone



There's something so invigaroting about stepping outside of your comfort zone and achieving something that you didn't think was possible.
The adrenaline that pumps through your body, fueling your nerves and keeping you on your toes, makes you feel so alive, pumped and determined to challenge your safe zone.
After all, we'll never grow if we don't plant the seeds for change.
It's up to us to have the courage to take that leap of faith, even when our hearts are racing, palms are sweating and knees are shaking!
For me, it's public speaking, that turns someone who can usually talk a leg off of a chair into a blubbering mess.
But it's a strange relationship that I have with speaking infront of a crowd of people - kind of a love/hate bond that we share.
While I battle my own personal anxieties and make the conscious effort to breath, shatter self doubt and challenge my thoughts in preparation for my speech, there's no greater high then after you've delivered a presentation to a room full of people who seem to really appreciate your thoughts.
I once went to a professional development course that made me challenge the use of the word "nervous" and to instead, replace it with "excited and stimulated", as this generates positive connotations in your mind - and helps to ease the uncertainities.
So I practice it before I ever have to give a speech "I am excited and stimulated about sharing my experience with mental health to help other people" - and I say this over and over again in my head.
I find it funny when I confess to people that I don't feel comfortable speaking infront of crowds. For some reason people think that because I'm loud, bright and bubbly that public speaking must come easy to me - and they often brush it off by saying "you'll be fabulous." Sometimes I think if only they knew!
It makes me wonder how many people out there suffer from the same nerves that I do when speaking to crowds, and how well they are at hiding these feelings.
I, for one, have realised that I can't speak without notes. Infact, once I even wrote out the whole script with *look up at crowd*, *smile*, *breath*, *slow down*, reminders throughout, and then worried that mid speech I'd blurt them out and look like a real dork. Could you image?
"Hi, my name is Kirsty and four years ago I suffered from depression and anxiety *smile* *look up at crowd* *continue slowly* haha!"
Sometimes I can convince myself that I'll be okay, but the minute my name is called and I find myself staring down the barrel of peoples faces intently listening to my every word, I feel my heart start to pound, and I can feel my lips moving but I don't really know what I'm saying! It's a pretty crazy feeling!
But as many people keep telling me, practice makes perfect, and while the thought of public speaking makes me cringe, the determined side of me isn't willing to give into some uncomfortable feelings and fear to stop me from sharing my passion.

After all, if we never step out of our comfort zones then we will never know what we're capable of acheving!
Do you have any tips for public speaking?
What have you found works to calm your nerves?
Does imaging the crowd naked really work (haha)?
Look after yourself and those around you,
Kirsty xxx

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