Fear of public speaking is #2 on the list of phobias, only behind fear of death.
A little personal milestone story. I have come a LONG way from years ago. I used to be quite a shy little wall flower actually. I have always been one to “face my fears head on” though. This is an example of that in milestones:
I had been the shy picked on kid through most of early school. Then I took a drama class in Grade 9. I had to step out of my comfort zone a lot. Being one of the least popular kids in school, I lacked any kind of confidence. However, I played a lead part as Fatima in “Ali Baba and the 40 thieves”. I had to do a stage scream and a stage faint. (Looking back, I was absolutely pathetic lol!!)
A couple years later, I had my first child while in Grade 12. I was taking a family studies class, and the birth lined up with the childbirth part of the class so my teacher asked me to bring my week old baby in and talk to the class. I was internally shaking in my booties the whole time, but the class and my presentation went well.
As a resourceful young mom, I earned a name for myself as the “Coupon Queen” around my hometown. In 1988 and 1989 the local women’s centre asked me to do a 2 hour seminar on coupons and smart shopping. I was still shaking in my booties, but the first seminar went so well, they asked me to do it again. This time they wanted a “live radio interview” to advertise the second seminar. It was explained to me that the announcer would call me and just talk on the phone, but it would be a “live interview” on air. I was sooo nervous!!! I answered a few questions, then got really lightheaded and woozy. I asked if we were still on air because I was about to faint. She didn’t answer my question, but asked her questions again. I managed to answer, and again nearly blacked out when we got off the phone. I figured I had failed horribly. I called back and she assured me that I was wonderful and my interview was a success. I never did actually hear the interview myself. I had thought that it really was LIVE ON AIR. (Years later, I know much more about recording, delays, and editing). The seminar went well again, but I don’t think I moved past my “on air failure” for a lonnnng time.
Next, I tried DJ’ing in our local nightclub for a week. All those buttons for sound, plus having to figure out stage light buttons and coordinate them, having to “speak up with confidence” into a microphone. Ya, that week didn’t go so well, I failed again, badly. To top it off, the band I had to introduce during that week was called “Pushy Pushy”. Guess how my lack of confidence and tumbling over my words came out on the microphone.
I moved to Prince George and soon got into modeling at local fashion shows. Now I could walk a runway fairly well — just don’t try talking to me. I would clam up fast. After a second failed marriage, I was pretty lonely and decided to step out of my comfort zone some more by joining Toastmasters for 3 years. I received a “Competent Toastmaster” certificate for completeing 10 speeches in their program. Now I could speak, and although my close friends knew I can be a chatterbox, it seemed I had a new neon sign on my head in public and often was asked to voice opinions and answer questions, and generally be the first to have to “speak up”. Around this time, while out on my mail route, and listening to the radio, I got in the habit of calling in to razz the announcers. Donny G would clip and air many tidbits of our conversations. There are some pretty funny stories of those clips. Plus he would call me the “Rockin Postie weather report”. I learned a little more about radio edits then as well.
So fast forward to now. I have my business Ladybug Wellness, and have now recorded a few radio ads. Hard to believe that was MY voice sounding so professional! (Listen to Prince George 99.3 The Drive and 101.3 The River for periodic ads from Ladybug Wellness).
In the summer of 2019, I had a few clients ask WHEN I would start doing informational videos. Another big step for me. This idea was pushed along when I was asked to do a video seminar interview with Healer’s Online Workshop, October 29 2019. I had to upgrade my equipment and technology to participate. The interview went well. (My interview is available, along with many other professional interviews, though a membership in their website at https://www.healersonlineworkshop.com/).
My son does video editing for his games and also for memorial and other family tributes. He is now assisting with my YouTube project and we hope to have Ladybug Wellness videos online soon.
So, you can see now, I have gone from that shy little wall flower that fainted on a live radio interview, to recording my own professional sounding radio ad and recording video information for my clients.
All my “failures” have now become my strength 😛