What would you talk about if you were given a platform to speak out to the world? Which one message would you want to share?
Do you even have something worth sharing?
Now I have always been an opinionated person.
I’ve always had something to say….just ask my Mum.
So it probably comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me or watches me from afar that at some point I would put myself up to do a TEDx talk.
What you might find surprising though is I’ve always been quite fearful of public speaking.
In my twenties, I would do anything to avoid having to talk in front of a crowd of people…I’d go all red-faced, I’d sweat and my voice would wobble all over the place if ever I had to.
Throughout my 30s though I worked as a project manager and consultant on the Olympics and I often had to give presentations and deliver training, and so it got a little easier, but I always suffered from nerves and also a bit of imposter syndrome, you know that feeling like you are kinda blagging it, and perhaps people shouldn’t take what you have to say too seriously.
Well…let me tell you, I have never felt as nervous as I did on Saturday standing in front of an audience of a hundred and fifty people in a theatre in Folkestone…knowing I had 15 minutes or so of time to fill with my idea worth sharing.
Especially knowing it would be filmed and the video could haunt me FOREVER!!!!
But before I share with it how it actually went, and when the talk will be ready for you to watch, I want to share 5 lessons from the process which you can use for any BIG goal.
Start to Visualise
In December last year, I created a vision board of all the things I wanted to achieve in 2018. On it, I included a Tedx talk…I knew I wanted to do one, I didn’t know how, but I knew I had to put it out there as a goal and start visualising how doing one could complement other business and life goals for the year. I pinned the vision board next to my desk and looked at it daily. It didn’t take long for the opportunity to find its way to me when a friend forwarded me details of Tedx Folkestone who had an open application process for potential speakers.
One of the easiest ways to make your goals happen is to actually sign up for them. I know it sounds basic but so many women say to me, “I really want to do a half marathon” and I reply “well sign up for one then”. When I sent in my application back in January I had a very loose idea of what I wanted to speak about, but I didn’t worry too much about the talk itself because I knew I would have months to prepare and that there was a process to follow. We grow into big goals like this…the process of overcoming fear helps us to grow as people.
Trust the Process
When you sign up for a marathon, you don’t head out the following day to see if you can cover 26.2 miles, you basically sit down and work out a training plan right? So likewise, I knew the first time I attempted to write my talk I knew it would be nowhere near the finished one. If I had started panicking and second-guessing myself right at the start I wouldn’t have had the time or headspace to really work out what it was I truly wanted to say. The passage of time helps you to form and then reform your ideas.
Ask for help
You don’t have to do scary stuff by yourself. Get yourself a support team. I had all kinds of help over the last 6 months preparing from this. Support from the Tedx team in Folkestone, and my fellow speakers at the event. My speaker friends from The Professional Speaking Association, including the folk from the various business masterminds I am in. Also, I asked for feedback from my clients…the ones most aligned to the audience I wanted to impact with this talk. The thing with asking for help though, is you have to be willing to take feedback onboard, otherwise whats the point in having it….and let people go over and aboard for you, one of my awesome friends came down to Folkestone on the day to help me with a final rehearsal, she went over and above to support me, and it felt a little weird at first…but it was 100% what I needed.
And then finally and most importantly
Believe in yourself
Now baring all of the above, the bottom line is when it comes to your BIG GOALS…often you have to actually do them yourself. You will find a moment where you are like “This is it…its just me up here, nobody else can help me now” then you have to dig deep and fill your head with positive thoughts. You have to have faith in your own abilities to pull something out of the bag on the day no matter how nervous and unprepared you are.
So how did it go?
Well, I was last on out of 11 speakers, so the nerves had been building all day.
20 minutes before I was due to go on I managed to get makeup all over my white vest (luckily I bought a spare), my heart was racing and other than being able to remember my opening line my head was actually quite blank.
But I had been working on this talk for weeks, I have been working on the topic of this talk for years, and in many ways, I had been preparing for this moment my whole life…I know that sounds proper dramatic right? But its how I feel.
So I stood in the wings listening to the intro, took some deep breathes, did some last minute facial warm-ups and then I heard
Next up we have Julie Creffield with her talk Living A Bigger Life
And I stepped up onto the stage with a smile and positioned myself in the spotlight on the infamous small circular of red carpet.
And sorry my lovelies I simply can’t reveal what happened next…you will have to tune in next month for that!!!
The video recording from my talk won’t be available until the end of July, so you are going to have to wait until then to see how it went. Trust me I am as frustrated as you…I just want to see it NOW. My memory of how it all went is a bit patchy, it went by in a blur…there was laughter and lots of nodding from the audience who I could just about see…and I think I made most of the major points I wanted to cover…even if I didn’t keep exactly to script.
I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to share my views on the world in this way, but I am not going to lie…as scary as that day was, nothing compares to how nervous I am about letting the video out into the world. But this is what I signed up for right? I have set myself the lofty goal of getting 1 million women to watch my talk…because I know if 1 million women stopped dieting and instead started to love themselves, we could really start some momentum with radical self-love and the pursuit of big dreams, at whatever size you happen to be.
I will need your help to get this video seen by other women around the world. I can’t do it all by myself. So keep an eye out on social media over the next few weeks for ways you can help with this.
Ready to start living a BIGGER life yourself?
The next round of my Living a Bigger Life group coaching programme starts in September, and places are already filling up nicely. I also have 3 spaces for 121 clients this summer.