re: Terrified of speaking at a conference? Submit anyway! VIEW POST


Anita! So cool to see you here :). Thanks for the post. I realllyyyy wanna start speaking at conferences but have too many fears. Your post is super encouraging.


Hi Nayeon, so good to see you here too <3. You'll do great, let me know if I can be of help in anyway!


Wow Anita, so much to think and ponder there + @BenHalpern, I'm with you also...
Anita, you’ve sure taken me back a few years and given me plenty to reflect. Tried pretty much all of those mentioned. And they so got me to that next level of OMG, when will I ever get good at this? Gosh,I’d almost forgotten them. Thanks. + I’d challenge them now tho… (in my current stage of ignorance), only because I had to work on, and thru, most of these. Maybe it’s all the practice or just maturing but when I look back at that me, all I was really trying to do was show up, be myself, and like me thru my own eyes before those of others… (now there’s a stack of $$$ in coaching mentoring and therapy in that line) but I feel it sits for me anyways.

"Just showing up"
Is it technique we need or is it to learn how to show up as ourselves without that bloody inner critique taking over? I'd say a bit of both aye? But as you know it takes a hot minute to have the courage to just be ourselves. I still find it hard. It’s like painful but as I kept studying and practicing over time it just got, (I just got) more comfortable with me…

Now if I’m asked that curveball Q, I’ll just reply with “hah, that’s a beauty, never thought about it, and what a great Q, I have no flipping idea. Wanna work that out together? And, yes, of course, they say yes… Even the ones that set out to mindfully trip you up… I love those ones now…

"The World's Most Nervous Stylist"
Get this, once I was even introduced as The World's Most Nervous Stylist. Brutal! But he was right. Not sure what gave it away, the sweating like a farm animal in the heat or that my knees uncontrollably trembling so much so that I seriously thought I was going to collapse. Can't remember ever feeling that again. (+ keep in mind, doing hair on stage, in front of hundreds and occasionally a few thousand peeps, is like having to sing, act, play the piano and remember the full choreography and do all that without screwing it up... I mean, it's just hair, how hard can it be trying to get a 100,000 moving targets to follow my direction. hah. easy!

Anyway, I no longer do hair but I still get nervous as hell speaking, and here are a few things I learned while trying not to do that.

"Nerves keep me cool"
One of my coaches told me straight up... "You never want to get rid of those nerves. A, they clearly show you care and B, it makes you relatable mate. You'll always present better nervous than an over-rehearsed vanilla boring as (bleep) speaker... and that's not you dude so stop trying to change it" ... I gotta say, that was some great advice and got me a little more comfortable being uncomfortable.

"Sweating like a bloody farm animal in the sun"
Then there was the wee issue of sweating... Not a pretty look. Then I read a piece of advice (Brian Tracey I think it was), that changed my life. He explained how the audience don't care if you’re sweating, in fact, it’s the lack of managing it that'll make you look like you’re not in control of yourself. Hah… I totally agreed and now I walk on, stage, in full view, with two fresh white cotton face cloths and a bottle of water. I place them down, take my time to fold them neatly, take a sip of water and just go for it… I’ve set the stage, literally. Then when I begin to sweat, I poke fun at myself, pat my forehead with as much style I can muster up and often without even taking a breath… Sweating... no longer an issue. It’s still there, and I’d be worried if not.

"No one has a fear of public speaking"
I’ll leave you with one more. One of my more recent mentors slammed this fear of public speaking thing in about 40 seconds. He said “No One has a fear of public speaking. Only a fear of speaking in front of those more intelligent than you.” I challenged him and he made it real simple, he said, “You’ve studied a good bit on human behavior and this quantum physics thing, could you speak for 10 minutes in front of a group of scientist and Nobel prize winners on the topic?” I was like... hell no! Then he said, “How about a class of first graders?” … Yep he got me! That was cool. He said it’s a perception of either self-righteousness or self-wrongeousness and just keeping my heart open and being neither will allow my message to be shared with those ready to hear and that the perception/assumption was as futile as guessing what’s in someone's wallet or purse. He said with so much direction… “Just go and teach them what you know… if you wait to know more, you’ll never be of service to the world.”

Way too long of a rant but if any of this resonates then great + open to be challenged. Like us all, I’m still figuring this out, Thanks again. What a wonderful memory explosion.

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