I did it! It's over! I can breathe!
Ever since I was asked in August by a dear friend to be a speaker at the Good Water Warehouse Convention and Trade Show in Calgary on October 11th, I have had it on my mind 24/7. When I first got the e-mail, I was absolutely giddy with excitement and extremely flattered that someone would think of me and my business as being a thought leader in my industry and that I would be a good fit as a speaker at this event.
In my career, I have had many opportunities to speak at meetings, presentations, and events. I usually am the first to jump to the opportunity to speak as I have learned to enjoy it and have thrived under the pressure ever since I took the Dale Carnegie course 5 years ago. The course provided me with effective tips and tricks in public speaking and gave me the confidence to speak on the fly about anything without sweating it. But this felt different. This would be my first speaking engagement as the founder of a company. I felt a great weight and responsibility to this role.
I knew from the very first moment that I got asked to speak that I would accept and that it would be an incredible opportunity that I absolutely could not refuse. As much as I doubted myself, and as much as I questioned my knowledge, value and worth, I knew I would not back down from this opportunity to establish myself as a speaker and take on the challenge that absolutely terrified me.
Since launching my business, I have had a goal to align myself with the right people to find public speaking opportunities where I could practice this craft and grow my brand at events. Little did I know that I would be one of the speakers at a main event before the year was over. I didn't tell anyone about my goals for this year, so it was a funny little surprise when I was thought about for this opportunity. I must have put it out into the universe, be careful what you wish for...
The last week leading up to the event I was extremely nervous and almost sick about presenting and taking this challenge on. There were many nights I lay awake and doubted myself and saw all of the ways in which I could fail at this. (I even secretly hoped it would be cancelled or that I would be asked not to attend.) As I started to put my presentation together, I overwhelmed myself with the amount of content I should include and I filled my slides with loads of stats and points that didn't even really make sense to me, but made it seem like I knew what I was talking about. What I failed to realize was that I know what I am talking about and am extremely passionate about it. As I started to practice my presentation for the first time in front of my fiancé, I felt extremely anxious and discouraged. I heavily relied on slides and notes and did not feel connected or confident in what I was presenting at all.
I took a moment, went through my presentation again and started to delete almost all of the slides I had. I think I had 50 in total and decreased it to 22, I removed meaningless images, tables and stats that I thought made my presentation look interesting and smart, but it ended up leaving me confused and disoriented because I didn't connect with the information being shown. It had no use in my presentation, and they were deleted. I practiced my presentation again and felt so much better. I did not use my notes or printed out pages at all. And you know why? Because I know this stuff! I live and breathe social media marketing every single day for my business. I speak to clients and prospects every week who are interested in learning new ways in which they can use social media to launch, market and grow their business and to top it off, I personally use social media to sell my business.
The weight was lifted, everything would be fine. As the days continued to pass and my presentation day crept closer, that fear and negativity came and went here and there. I kept reminding myself that this is a great feeling to have. I have promised myself that in my own business I never want to feel comfortable and I always want to welcome challenges and opportunities that make me feel alive and push me to grow and expand in my knowledge.
The day before the event, I kept switching back and forth from feeling extremely excited, motivated and confident to feelings is nausea, regret and anxiety. When I got to the event, I was pleasantly surprised to have multiple people come up to me before my presentation and ask me my advice on social media. Instead of feeling nervous, I finally felt extremely confident and like I had a job to do. It finally was clear that this was not a moment for me to feel anxious or scared. It was a time for me to use my skill and talent and teach the audience about what I know best.
After the speech, I felt incredible and extremely humbled by the experience. I lead a trade show where I got to speak with the audience members one on one and I got to share my knowledge and gain more insight into their biggest challenges and pain points when it comes to utilizing social media for their businesses. I am so grateful for the opportunity and for all of the amazing new connections and contacts I made.
Now that I have accomplished my first official speaking engagement as Pink Crown Creative, I am ready to take on more challenges, more speaking opportunities and open myself and my business up to new and exciting opportunities that is sure to continue to help encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses owners to launch, market and grow their businesses.
Looking for assistance in upping your social media game? Contact me to learn how we can work together and build your brand and influence on social media.
Watch a snippet of my presentation below and share your feedback! I would love to know any tip, tricks and suggestions for me to consider for my next speaking engagement.