“To do the common thing uncommonly well brings success.” – John D. Rockefeller
Okay, so public speaking is tough on me. I know I have posted about this over and over. But it’s really tough for me. And I know it’s a common thing; it’s common to speak and it’s common to be scared of public speaking.
Mr. CIO let me borrow his Simply Speaking book, the “no-sweat way to prepare and deliver presentations.” Even opening the book makes me nervous. I think I’ve put off reading this one because something in me keeps saying that it can’t help. No one feels as horribly as I feel before public speaking. I am the worst and I can’t get better. I had to type these out to understand how illogical and false these statements have to be.
So, David Greenberg and Mr. CIO, I’m opening your book. And I’m going to be an advocate on how this book changes my career. I’m going to have an open mind. I am going to do this common public speaking thing uncommonly well. You see, I have this fantasy vision of myself in an expensive suit, telling a meeting room full of people why exactly I’m passionate about this thing called a state health information exchange, and all of them staring back at me, nodding, smiling, learning, and listening. In this fantasy I am calm, confident, and clear. And then I am the one who writes speeches or books on how I overcame my public speaking fears and can be an active part of meetings and seminars. Obviously, I have a lot more work to do than just buying an expensive suit.
So, welcome to my public speaking journey beginning with understanding what The Toastmaster Magazine calls “The Four Stages of a Speaker’s Development.” Where are you? I’m so obviously in stage 1 and can’t wait for stage 4 (and a pretty new suit to go along with it).
1. Anything that can get me through this is good enough.
2. Hey. It’s not bad up here.
3. It’s almost like sitting around the dinner table
4. I have something to say.