Public speaking was never my strong suit. The idea of getting up and talking to a large group of people absolutely terrified me. I knew that the only way to get over this fear was to take the plunge, but I wasn’t sure how. Through encouragement from fellow YNPN members, coworkers, and friends, I decided I would apply to present at the YNPN Link event. YNPN has always been a welcoming environment full of energy and great people. I thought what better place than YNPN to overcome my fear and give a presentation of an organization I love.

After taking the plunge and going through the application process, it was time for me to focus on my speech and overcome this challenge. Here are some things that helped me through the process and made it an overall rewarding experience;

  1. Speaking from the heart (be authentic) – I focused on telling a personal experience that connected me to the cause. This not only made it personal for the audience, but it became less about me.
  2. Practice – After I wrote my speech it was time to memorize and practice it as much as possible. I turned every opportunity into a presentation; during dinner at a restaurant, while attending a get together with friends, while driving to work, even my dog heard it. My goal was to become comfortable with my speech. It also helped me with timing.
  3. Don’t over think it – After I practiced and knew my speech pretty well, I focused on the positive and gave myself time to relax without thinking about it.
  4. Have fun! – Enjoy the experience and exhilarating excitement of challenging yourself while being an advocate for an amazing cause!