When was the last time you really stood out in a crowd? Are you comfortable in that position, or do you wish you could fade into the woodwork?
When I first set up in business I needed to build up contacts, so the natural way to do this locally was business networking. However public speaking was always one of those things that sacred the living daylights out of me. To be stood there and be the center of attention, with everyone’s eye looking at me. I couldn’t think of anything worse.
The group that I joined had a format where each member would have 60 seconds to promote their business, then a member would have 10 minutes to do a deep dive on what they offer.
Each week I would need to plan and work out the exact wording I would need for just the 60 seconds, let alone the “whole” 10 mins! I remember standing there with the paper my notes were on rustling due to my hands shaking.
Growing in confidence
Spring forward 4 years and I find myself in a role where I am expected to lead one-to-many training sessions on WordPress and SEO, and these would be a whole day! How can I stand there for 6 hours (breaks excluded) in front of people talking. How will I find anything to say? What will they think? What if I don’t know the answer to their questions when I’m supposed to be the expert?
Well, two years into that role and it’s now water off a ducks back. The 60 seconds, the 10 minutes, the whole day. Easy.
What’s the trick?
I think there are a few things at play. Firstly, imposter syndrome was kicking in. That self-doubt voice in the back of your head, and I realised that it is just a matter of facing the fear and doing it anyway.
Also, finding your ikigai (a reason to jump out of bed each morning. Worth a read: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ikigai-Japanese-secret-long-happy/dp/178633089X) and talking about a subject that you do know inside-out helps. The workshops I was running were on WordPress a software package that I had been using for nearly 10 years and knew inside out.
And finally, planning. The old adage that failing to plan means you are planning to fail is so true. Planning the day. Breaking it down into sections. Only focusing on what needs to be done next, rather than the whole day, makes it manageable.
What are your thoughts about standing out in a crowd? Is it something you are apprehensive of? Or do you relish in that atmosphere? Let me know in the comments below.