'Speak...even if your voice shakes'
This week I took part in Ignite Liverpool - a public speaking event with the tagline ‘inspire us - but do it quickly’. This is because each speaker is given five minutes to inspire the audience, using twenty slides which rotate automatically on a fifteen second timer.
My speech ‘Waking up in a different world’ told of the journey I have taken over the last three years to where I am today and the lessons I have learnt along the way.
As much as I want to share with you all my speech - this blog post is about courage.
I was so nervous before going on stage; in fact, even when I was on the train to Liverpool I wanted to get off at the next stop, turn around and go home. Although I have danced all over the world and in sold out arenas under great pressure, public speaking is a lot more daunting to me.
The thought of speaking in front of an audience, whilst being filmed and then messing it up made my stomach do summersaults and I wondered,
Why am I putting myself through this torture?
But I knew that if I could be brave I could maybe, just maybe, reach someone who needed to hear what I had to say, just like I did a few years ago.
Luckily enough, with a gin and lots of deep breaths and pep talks, the speech went well and it was well received by the audience members - with calls to write a book about my story (a pipe dream I shall bench for now, but feel free to email me if you know anyone wants to fund me!)
The exhilaration of facing a fear stayed with me all night and has yet to leave. My ultimate goal, in almost everything I do, is to help others. The feeling of an audience member approaching me after the speech to say that my words had resonated and helped her...well the feeling is invaluable. I wouldn’t have stepped on the stage without the support and love from my wonderful boyfriend and a great school and lifelong friend.
The lesson to come out of this blog - if you are courageous enough to stand up face a fear, you could possibly inspire others to stand up too.
‘Speak...even if your voice shakes’