I thought the place was familiar. Last week I chaired a leadership conference at the same venue I’d delivered my first ever keynote. I had an ‘ooh, that was then, this is now’ moment of joyful back-patting. Always worth thinking about how far you’ve come.
Did you see Steve Jobs’ first ever speech? No, nor did I. How about Brené Brown, the social researcher who’s done a shed load of TED talks? Nope, missed that one too.
Their first-time speaking ‘events’ were probably stood up in front of their colleagues – Steve at Apple, Brené at the University of Houston. They might well have been clutching their notes, all shaky voiced and flushing red at the neck*.
Many of my coaching clients’ confidence is undermined by seeing others who are really good. They want to achieve what they’ve seen on the internet or at an event, but don’t think they’ll ever be as engaging or look as comfortable. But I tell them that they might, so why shouldn’t they aim for that – over time?
You don’t need a black turtle neck sweater or a cult following to be a great speaker. But you do have to start.
Watch my video to see exactly where I started, and I mean exactly…
*Maybe that’s why Jobs always wore a turtleneck sweater – to hide his neck flushing?!