When Motivational Speaking Gets Scary

The following two tabs change content below.
Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

Latest posts by Kelly Swanson (see all)

motivational speaker on stage


It’s not just public speaking that frightens us

Just being a motivational speaker is a scary job. We all get it. Getting up and speaking in front of a group ranks up there on the top of the fear charts.  So as speakers, we learn to conquer that fear. Well…. not conquer it. We learn to embrace it and have power over it. But  that doesn’t mean fear becomes a part of the past.

Fear is present at every stage of the dream.

I wish I could say that in this business you eventually get to a point where you can coast. Some do coast. But they don’t get booked. Because success happens when you burst through your current comfort zone. And every time you do that, fear enters the picture.  The truth is that every time I turn a corner I face a new fear.

Sometimes it’s an audience I’m not familiar with – or a topic that is new. Maybe I’m trying out a new joke. Or maybe this is a state where they don’t all talk like me. Or maybe now it’s a radio show, or a cruise ship gig, or being interviewed for a national magazine. Or maybe it’s a bad evaluation. Or nobody buys my book. Or I find a typo on the back page.

motivational keynote speakerIt seems like every time I get comfortable, something pushes me out. And I find myself facing the same question I face every time I’m up against a new challenge:

What is the worst that could happen?

Believe it or not, it all boils down to that one question, every time. What is the worst that could happen if I take this new challenge?

And I walk through that fear story of everything that could possibly happen, and face it. At least in my head anyway.

And when I get to the other side, I determine whether the risk worth the payoff?

And usually I decide that I’m willing to take that risk.

Dreams don’t come with guarantees. And they always come with risks. Success comes outside that comfort zone – where fear lives.

So if you’re afraid today because your dream has brought you to a new place of fear, then ask yourself:

What is the worst that could happen?

And then decide if that risk is worth the pay off.

See you on the other side!  If we fall, we’ll just laugh it off and dust ourselves up and get back up. Because the dream is worth it.