I had just agreed to give a presentation at an industry event and my anxiety was through the roof. There were going to be over 700 people in the audience and I would be the sole presenter for 30 minutes. I’ve done many presentations in the past but nothing on this scale. Prior to this the most people I had ever presented to was about 150-200 tops.
This was different. It was also being recorded for all posterity. They say that the fear of public speaking is greater than death for many people. But I knew I had to do this. I made it a personal goal a few years ago to build my brand in my field and this was the ultimate platform for my profession. In other words this was a HUGE opportunity and I knew I had to do this. That’s why I agreed to it with no hesitation. I made a decision to push through my comfort zone. Not just push through….. but knock it down and step on it’s face on my way to my stated goal!
I harnessed all of my nervous energy and I prepared for this like I have never prepared before. I spent weeks building out the slides for the presentation and practicing it over and over again. By the time I took the stage I knew I had this. I knew my presentation backwards and forwards and when I looked out at the audience I knew I was ready. In fact the 30 minutes flew by and when I was done there was a huge crowd that followed me out of the auditorium to ask me followup questions. A few days later the event organizer reached out to me and said I had knocked it out of the park and that mine was one of the best presentations of the entire event.
To open yourself up to new opportunities I have found that stepping out of your comfort zone is crucial. As a matter of fact one of the people that wanted to talk to me after I spoke was from a company that is looking for someone with my type of experience to sit on their board of directors. I’ll followup on this in a future post if this turns into something interesting.
My advice is simple Memphis Go Getters! Start pushing through your comfort zone today. You just might surprise yourself.
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