I delivered over 35 talks in 2021. Here’s what I learned.
In 2021, I had the privilege of delivering over 35 talks at different universities, conferences, and events around Australia, with a few events also occurring around the world. This also included being invited to panel discussions and podcasts, two TEDx talks, and a few commentaries on television and radio.
It was both an experience to grow myself and learn immensely from fellow speakers at these events and also gain that much-needed experience of speaking in front of diverse audiences.
Here are three things that I learned from that experience that I will take on into 2022:
🦸🏿♂️ Being authentic is your superpower
Instead of trying to emulate how other speakers talk, find your own edge and lean on that. I have found that whenever I am being myself, speaking with how I normally speak, and utilizing my own quirks and intonations with my voice, the audience resonates the most. How do I know this? Well, the hundreds of emails and messages via social media after each talk can testify that being yourself really does make a greater impact than being a copy of someone else. Plus, it’s much easier to own who you are, instead of transforming yourself into a mold that will never feel right.
💭 Self-belief is the fertile ground for the miraculous
Public speaking is primarily a confidence game. If you can speak on a topic with articulation and comfortability, you will resonate with the audience. That confidence comes from believing that you CAN do that. If you cannot do that, you will falter, shake and not do justice to the topic as you know that you can. Hold yourself to a higher regard, and believe that you can speak on it. The rest all comes naturally once you can do that.
❤️ Be vulnerable, and feel the love
The fear of opening up is universal. However, when you’re giving a talk about a topic such as diversity, leadership or mental health, being vulnerable and that feeling of exposing your struggles drastically increases how many people are tuning into your talk - and I mean, truly tuning into your talks. Everyone goes through shortcomings. For you to share your own personal struggles in life and then convey the narrative of overcoming them, is what makes a talk inspirational or motivating.
Be vulnerable. Be raw. Be okay with showing how you overcame adversity, and in return, the audience will trust and resonate with you more.
My passion to make public speaking a long-term career in my life is a fire burning fiercer than ever. As I enter my 21st year of living on this Earth, I still have so much to learn and continue to gather what type of person, leader, and communicator I want to be. I am grateful for the journey so far, and I am even more blessed to think about what’s to come.
The greatest thing about life is knowing that the best is still to come.
As always, there's ambition in my coffee - I hope it's in yours too!
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