If you've seen me talk in front of people, and you've thought that I seemed fairly calm and collected while doing so, that is really nice of you, because even just thinking about public speaking makes my palms sweat, and I know that I'm not alone.
I swear I'm not trying to perpetuate a stereotype, but I am, in fact, a socially anxious, introverted individual. I just know that outwardly appearing that way in the workplace is not going to get me to where I want to be.
One faithful day in September, I came across a course entitled, "Public Speaking for Beginners and the Truly Terrified" instructed by one Lauren Sergy. I closed my eyes and said to myself, "here goes nothing".
Upon first meeting Lauren, the stereotypical librarian may be taken aback by the enormous surge of energy that she emits on the regular. What you end up learning, however, is that Lauren feeds off of the energy generated by her clients' growth in speaking and presenting abilities, and then redistributes that energy right back to her clients.
Lauren tackles the monster that is public speaking into smaller bites that are easier to work with, while incorporating physiological explanations, and drowning out your fears through continued exposure by having you talk about things that matter to you.
After a few months of that, I remain a socially anxious introvert, but I am able to take some of my nervous energy and turn it into enthusiasm, even if my brain is running a full-blown panic on the inside. I still can't say that public speaking is my favourite thing to do, but when I do it, I no longer wish for someone to pull me off the stage with one of those comically long canes.
Honestly, if you're a nervous speaker like me or even if you just feel like your presentations could use an extra breath of life, I would highly recommend working with Lauren.
Lauren has brought "Public Speaking for Beginners and the Truly Terrified" back for another term, and two-fold!
P.S. For my next challenge, Lauren is working with me to make one of my presentations conference-ready this year. So, look out, conference planners and goers! I'm coming for you!