Face Your Fears

I’m back posting after a few days hiatus. As I wrote in my last post, I was asked to substitue for the keynote speaker at a conference last week. Unfortunately, the scheduled speaker’s father passed away the day before the conference opened.

The audience was pleased with my talk. The board of directors of the conference was relieved – and pleased- that I was able to come through for them. I, too, was pleased with my talk.

Even though I did not have much time to prepare for this talk, I had plenty of material pre-planned for several talks. I have been an emergency substitue speaker before so I always have a few talks ready to go. So, it was simply a question of selecting the appropriate material, asking enough questions about the audience, and putting it all together. And then I could concentrate on delivering the keynote address.

Sounds easy? It is – for me. For most people – no, they would run away – as far and as fast as they could.

So many people live in fear of speaking in public. They are paralyzed by this fear. They do not realize how this fear is holding them back – from advancing in their careers and from developing relationships.

You can learn to face your fears. You can make a decision. You can decide to remain a prisoner of your fears. Or you can decide to face your fears head-on and take the first step towards conquering your fears.

Last night, at the closing banquet, a good friend and colleague of mine was honored for his years of service to our association and our industry. Great choice! Well deserved. And, a great model for the message of this post.

Early in his career, Kevin was paralyzed with fear of speaking in public. I vividly recall meeting Kevin more than thirty years ago, when he could barely say “Hello” to someone he was meeting for the first time. Some of my colleagues muttered, “He won’t last. He doesn’t have what it takes. He’s too shy”

Kevin must have heard those comments. He realized that he had to face his fear of speaking in public if he was “going to last.” He knew the steps that he needed to take in order to prove that he had what it takes to be successful in his business – and in our industry.

His first step was to enroll in a Dale Carnegie Training class. He enjoyed the experience so much that he now is a Dale Carnegie certified trainer. His is a story of success. And he is a real role model for anyone who wants to learn how to overcome their fear of speaking in public.

Thank you Kevin! Thank you for showing us that it is indeed possible to  face your fears – and conquer them.

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