They say that public speaking and presenting is the one thing that most people are deathly afraid of, including me. However, I’m very aware that public speaking is really important for us to get our message across to a large group of people as well as growing our businesses and career.

Earlier this year I received confirmation of a speaking spot at a sales and customer care conference being held by one of my clients in Cambodia. I knew it would a huge achievement if I succeeded but to succeed I needed to get out of my comfort zone and get over this fear once and for all.

Although I was over the moon with excitement, very soon the fear set in. Don’t get me wrong I’ve done lots of presenting in the past, but this was something on a large scale, it was a huge step up for me and I knew my standard preparation for presenting wasn’t going to cut it.

Starting to think about the way I could work on my presentation skills, I thought it would be great to do a couple of smaller events in the lead up as practice. I was able to secure two fantastic events as their key note speaker which gave me the opportunity to understand my emotions, physical reactions and a better insight into how I could prepare. This level of self-awareness was a critical step in overcoming my fear.

The second thing I needed to do was draft my talk and memorise it so I stayed on track during the presentation. Once I did this I practised everywhere, the shower, my morning walks on the beach (yes I did look like a crazy lady), recording myself, memorising my slides and knowing what I wanted to cover.

The third thing I did, to truly nail this public speaking gig, was to engage with a great public speaking coach. After one session with Tricia Krap, I felt confident, had a plan and some personal work to do. My biggest takeaway from Tricia, was to think about what I was going to take out on stage with me. This was huge paradigm shift for me, because I wanted to take my confidence, my expertise, my fun and ME onto stage, not my anxieties, fears, shakes or bullshit stories.

12977254_599186910229815_2866816795442121250_o (1)Even while I was in Bali I used some time to schedule in two practice runs which was actually really beautiful. I was relaxed and rehearsed with a different head-space. This was actually the best thing for me, because I so relaxed and was able to channel that feeling before I went on stage.

The next thing that helped me which I did the night before the presentation, morning of and just before I went on stage was emotional freedom tapping (EFT), which I first learnt around 2 years ago and loved it. I use it often and with some clients, it was so powerful and helped me feel grounded, work through the physical reactions and get in the zone.

So it was time, I was micked up, crystals in my pockets, music started and my head space right, it was time to get out there and smash it.

And that is exactly what I did, I felt calm, present, focused and had so much fun up on the stage that I didn’t want it to end. Timing was perfect, jokes were perfect, the feedback has been amazing and I am already planning to apply for next year’s conference.

Now, I hear it all the time from clients, I couldn’t do that, it’s not for me, I’d be petrified, I don’t know how you do it, but I want to let you know that it is with self-awareness, practice, preparation, hard work and confronting your fears which enables to overcome anything. Which is why one of all time my favourite saying is –

“feel the fear and do it anyway” – Susan Jeffers