Public speaking is addictive.
That might sound unbelievable to those terrified of having the floor. But here’s a secret: speaking up makes you the most powerful person in the room. The first speech I ever delivered was before the congregation of my church my freshman year of high school. Hundreds of eyes were on me and, despite the pressure and nerves, I was hooked. I spoke and people listened. I grew to love that my voice wielded attention and influence. I think what terrifies people the most about public speaking is judgement.
What will I say? Will I be good enough? Will I reveal something about my beliefs or my personality that I don’t want anyone to know?
Yes! Speaking out will absolutely make you vulnerable. And you might, in fact, set yourself up for possible failure. But in the process, you will grant yourself space to succeed. No matter what your field or your passion, there is no reward without risk. These aren’t my own words of wisdom, this is life. It’s a basic principle we teach our children. I invite you to ponder a question: What would I gain if I weren’t afraid to speak out?
Truthfully, this has nothing to do with a podium at all. It might involve the courage to broach a topic you’re avoiding with your partner. It could mean asking your manager about that promotion or raise you deserve. It might include sharing a secret that you’ve been carrying silently for far too long. I urge you to take a chance. Let down your guard just long enough to unleash your idea into the universe. You will certainly reveal a tender piece of your heart, but I promise it gets easier with practice.
The world is going to judge you anyway so why not give it something substantive to talk about?
I’m rooting for you.