When I talk to people about public speaking, I tell them of the opportunities it opens up to travel to fun places, and meet awesome people. I have had some amazing adventures in the last several years, all because I got up the courage to get up and speak to a bunch of geeks like myself.
I've done things like:
- Soaked in an outdoor hot tub with snow falling on my face in Sandusky, Ohio
- Sunned with my toes in the sand at Atlantic Beach, Florida
- Scoped the beautiful Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina
- Studied Norwegian history at the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo, Norway
- Savored late night street food and laughs in Montevideo, Uruguay
- Stood in awe and reverence in the Westminster Abbey in London, England
- Strolled under a canopy of strange and beautiful trees in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia
...and so many more things that me-of-10-years-ago would have never dreamed of doing.
As awesome as all the places are, it's the people I've met, relationships that have formed, and experiences I've shared with friends and family that are the most precious.
Public speaking has made my world bigger, more colorful, and more accessible.
I love the feeling of helping other people in the community more than the anxiety caused by public speaking. It didn't take long for me to get hooked.
Give a lunch-and-learn talk at your company. Give a show-and-tell or short presentation at one of your local meetups. Talk about something you're learning, or something you like to geek out about.
If after three tries you're still not convinced, no harm done. You will have accomplished far more than most people. You'll also have new skills and knowledge that will continue to pay dividends going forward.
Who knows where it could take you?
Check out my Public Speaking Resources.
Need more evidence? Read Cory House's article, Public Speaking Transformed My Life... and Can Change Yours, Too.
Get out there and be awesome!