I have no problems – on stage in front of several thousand concert-goers, introducing an act. Emceeing functions in-front of hundreds…beyond comfortable. On Arthur Ashe Kids Day, before the U.S. Open – entertaining 25,000 impatient, screaming children while the CBS director barks in my ear to vamp for 20-minutes while they work out a recording issue in the truck – that’s a breeze…
…compared to the utter and complete anxiety I experience in anticipation of speaking to just 75 Springfield business owners and pillars of the community at a monthly Rotary Club meeting.
Yesterday – I was a mess. Actually – forget yesterday…for the past week I’ve been a mess.
I guess it has to do with the fact that these are the people I truly look up to – people who were in my position ‘way back when’ – took a chance and made a decision to own their own image, their own product…and build their own small business. Surely they struggled, too – but look at ‘em now!
With each visit, you’re supposed to give a compelling 25-minute presentation on what exactly YOU DO. What is your business? And why is it interesting? What makes you so noteworthy that you’d be one of only 12 guest speakers this year to a civic organization loaded with important community decision makers and successful business owners?
It is RATTLING…and I only hope that I didn’t appear to be a blubbering moron yesterday…
Here’s a trick, though – that helped. Because I do voice-over work now, I had a left over cardboard stand-up of myself from radio-life. So when I was introduced, I just put the standup out there in front of everyone and pressed PLAY on the computer. There was 6-minutes of voice-over and video from the U.S. Open before I ever had face ‘em live! Gave me some time to calm down.
In fact – Hey SignsNow, here we go again – another application for your cardboard stand-up services. First, we demonstrated how they’re effective, affordable home security systems; now they’re for those who fear public speaking.
Tell you what – when clients come to me looking to record their speeches – I’ll put them in touch with you…to get their life-size standup.
Building those business relationships, one frightening public speaking experience at a time…
I’m telling you, we’re onto something.