Ever wonder what life is like outside of your comfort zone?

I recently went to San Antonio for a speaking competition if you had known me about 5 years ago you would have known that I was a Web designer who rarely stepped from behind the keyboard. ‘

However, since then I have grown tremendously as a business owner, a public speaker, and a person.

I have learned to take risks and lead a team both on and off the stage.

I have seen my business flourish and am now able to focus on what I love the most – inspiring and motivating people to achieve their goals. I am proud of the person I have become and will continue to strive for greatness.

I was like 78% sure of what I was getting into.

Did I ‘wing’ it?

I went to the event knowing that whatever I would come up with to speak would be okay because I’ve gotten quite comfortable at being put on the spot in the last few years. I’ve spoken at my business coach’s event about branding and that went very well and then I’ve spoken on stages to introduce people and I’ve been on podcasts as well. I’m also part of an improv group so I’m very comfortable sharing what I know and giving my opinions.

How I prepared.

I always say that if I am knowledgeable in what I’m speaking of, I’ll have nothing to worry about. In fact, rehearsing just makes me more nervous because then I tend to get stuck in my head and that’s not helpful when I’m talking in front of an audience.

I have learned to take risks and lead a team both on and off the stage.

But then, the first speech!

A speaker is (reborn)

The first speech I gave was about how I overcame and shook off my reputation as a quiet girl. It was something that always bothered me when people would tell me that I was too quiet. I guess I enjoy my own thoughts, and I really like to listen and observe. I’m usually content to stay in the background, rather than be the focus of attention.

But when I’m on stage, I can really come alive. I can express my thoughts and feelings, and in a way that I don’t feel inhibited by my introverted nature. It’s like I can be myself, but more vibrant and articulate. It’s a great feeling.

And then another!

In my next speech, I spoke about how I accidentally became a teacher. It’s funny how life takes you in multiple directions – I’m a marketing technology enthusiast, and though it involves speaking and teaching the concepts to other people, it’s been a great experience.

Watching them have those “Aha!” moments just makes the whole ordeal better for me. It’s so rewarding to see the concepts click in their minds, it’s something that I cherish and makes the whole journey worth it.

What a rush!

I didn’t win. So What?

They were excellent speakers at the event. A lot of the speakers were professionals who had done Keynotes and paid engagements before. I’m still a beginner speaker, although I have some experience. I’ve been doing some engagements on a small scale and I’m still learning the trade and how to better myself as a speaker. I still have a lot to learn, and I appreciate the judge’s feedback and all the praise that I received for my performance.

Coming to a stage near you.

It was really encouraging and made me feel confident in my abilities as a speaker. Knowing that people had enjoyed my performance and that I was able to inspire them in some way was truly rewarding. In short, I’m so glad to have traveled and met so many great people at this event and I hope to be speaking very soon. I’m looking forward to the next time I step onto the stage!