Find a Dream Audience, me?

I love the saying “go big or go home” but I am in that quandary now. This opportunity has been in the works for a while now, and although the official work has yet to start, the big new is that I have been invited to be a speaker.

At an international conference in Las Vegas.

For a crowd of approximately 300.

Crap.

Just a few short years ago, at my weekly business networking group, I would have heart palpitations when my time to speak came around. Keep in mind, this “speaking” would be approximately 45 seconds long.

Regardless, this is how my preparation went–

  1. write idea down the night before
  2. practice in the car on the way
  3. take a sip of water when I there were 2 people to go before my turn
  4. take LOTS of deep breaths
  5. stand up and try not to shake so my voice wouldn’t warble

Fast forward to just a year back, and I was President of the group, running the meetings on a weekly basis. Did my nerves get any better? A Little bit.

The preparation shifted to a bit more notes, and less shaking, but I was still freaking out a tiny bit every time I stood at the head of the table. Ask anyone in that group and they all tell me the same thing – they had no idea I was so nervous. They say it didn’t show. They may be too kind to tell me otherwise.

How the hell did I get myself into this? Be careful what you wish for.

In my many books, internet gurus, webinars and business growth research there is a thread that I picked up on in order to achieve the multiple streams of income I so desire.

Become an industry expert.

Tim Ferriss talks about this in 4-Hour Work Week. Seth Godin talks about “being remarkable” – worth remarking about.

Dreaming of speaking… Is this thing on?

I can not take full credit for getting to this point, as most people would attest. I am so prevalent in Social Media because of the time and energy Cath puts into helping us build this business and making me look like a rock star. My favorite feedback that I’ve received at least once a week lately is “You are everywhere!”

Cool feeling. Now time to deliver.

Do I know what I’m talking about yet? Nope.

Getting my mind around that crowd, who they are and what can I give them that will be the most useful and applicable is in the works. All I have to do now is purge the standing-on-stage-naked nightmare and all will be well.

Are you heading for a speaking event? It doesn’t matter if its 10 or 1,000, here’s my initial plan to get prepared for the spotlight:

  • Find some great books on public speaking. I’m lucky to be surrounded by like minded people and have already raided their libraries. I’ll be offering reviews of the ones I find most useful in the coming months.
  • I’ll be running to Toastmasters (and dragging 8 Women Dreamer, Catherine with me). There are too many successful professional speakers that have succeeded due to the support and guidance that Toastmasters offers.
  • I have some incredible professional presentation advisers that generously offered their help in grooming me for the presentation.

Have you had a similar experience – speaking to a big crowd that required big preparations? How did you prepare? Do you have books to recommend? Did you find an expert or coach that helped you rock your presentation?

I look forward to telling you how this progresses and to hear your stories – good and bad!

Find your dream audience this week –

Heather Montgomery


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Heather’s dream is to share with the world her success at becoming healthy after age 40. Heather lost over 88 pounds through changing her diet and incorporating exercise into her busy life. She would like to take what she has learned about becoming fit after 40, and using her Metabolic Training Certification to help others struggling with weight issues mid-life. Heather’s post day is Monday.
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  • Heather this is FANTASTIC news!!!! Seriously. Amazing. So proud of you!

    AND, pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones is always a good thing… I know it’s scary but I also know you’ll rock it. :)

    I agree with Remy that preparation is the key. Sounds like you are doing all the right things! I’d ask the friends who are willing to help you to work with you on the script ahead of time and then practice, practice, practice. Doing Toastmasters is a great idea, too!

    I apparently am one of these very rare people (like another species, almost!) who actually loves public speaking. So I am happy to share any tips if I can be helpful. I do think the most important thing is to feel really well-prepared. And to practice your remarks in front of others before the event itself.

    Then, when you get up there, even if you feel a little nervous (VERY normal!) you will already KNOW you are well-prepared and you will KNOW that you can do it… and you WILL.

    Let me know how I can help! You go girl!

    xoxo
    Lis

  • Toni Schram

    Bravo! We have a bonafide ROCKSTAR amongst us!

    Obviously, you’ve been following all the necessary steps
    to get you to this point.

    You might want to keep the visual of Lisa’s dominatrix to be fearless and take no prisoners when you step up to the podium. And in Vegas, baby!

    Congratulations~

    Toni

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Ahghrghh you do fine and you will be fine.

    Toastmasters will kick our butts.

    You can present at all the 8 Women Dream meetings. . .

  • Remy G

    In doing trainings or working with teams of employees, I’d get the shakes too. But the thing that allowed me to focus in the moment was practicing ahead of time. Practicing the actual words – but not being so scripted that you cant move. Where this always bites me is my procrastination. You cant practice something well that you write on the plane to Vegas, baby. Having your technology figured out ahead of time, and HAVING a plan B if the PowerPoint tanks or the internet goes down. (btw, Yelling at the hotel’s conference support staff isn’t the best solution even tho may feel good.)

    So starting now is a great idea. Get to toastmasters, and learn how to speak to groups…I’m guessing they are experts at that. And if you need to practice, I”ll listen and give ya feedback! Rem