Thursday, February 14, 2013

Speaking in public... and freaking out.

I pride myself on being brave, stepping outside of my comfort zone.
I firmly believe that taking risks has grown me as a person, and my business, in ways I could have never imagined.

But speaking in public.... that's the one thing that still freaks me out. So much.
I'm not sure it'll ever get easier. Hopefully so.

Recently a college contacted me inviting me to be their keynote speaker for a very special day.
They have a young entrepreneur program, encouraging students to start their own business.
The students put together a presentation detailing their business, and the winner gets $5000 to start making their dream come true!

Yesterday was the day that the top 10 finalists got to present in front of an audience and a panel of judges.
Can I just tell you THEY WERE AMAZING.
I was so proud of them. So inspired.
I was beaming. And then someone asked me if I had a student in college and I felt like crawling in a hole.
(When I came home last night, telling The Man about my day I told him how appalled I was to be asked this. He said, "Beki, you're 35. If you had a child at 17, which is not that uncommon, you could have an 18 year old college student right now." Oh.mah.gawsh. I COULD HAVE A COLLEGE STUDENT!!! Holy reality check.)

So, after the students presented, we were all treated to a nice lunch.
And then it was my turn to speak.
And even though I didn't have $5000 on the line, I'm pretty sure I was more terrified than any of those brave students.

But I did it. With a shaky voice. With sweaty palms. With a dorky giggle. With sweaty armpits. Talking too fast. I did it.
Here was part of the crowd. The room was too wide and I couldn't fit them all in, unfortunately.

When it was done and I made it back to my car, I had to snap a photo of myself to document the day.

I'm glad I did it. Even though it was terrifying.
I learned a lot. Got inspired by young people.
And got a pretty great sugar cookie out of the deal.

Thank you McPherson College!


Karla Conner said...

Thats so cool that you spoke at McPherson College. That's where I went to school!! I'm sure they loved you.

Wendy said...

The key to public speaking is to just imagine yourself in your underwear. Hmmm... That doesn't seem right...

merlin said...

"do you have a child in college?"
=the ultimate compliment

Beki, relish the honor those words are to you. To me, those words are a blessing upon you and your children.

GLC Craft Mall said...

I think what Wendy wanted to say was the key to Public Speaking is to imagine everyone else in their underwear.

Christina said...

Good for you!
And there are people that I graduated from high school with that are grandparents (I'm 38). Say what?! It boggles MY mind, anyway. :)