38 minutes | Jan 11th 2021

148. How I Overcame Public Speaking Fear Part 2-Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

This is part 2 of a multipart series. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway — From Timid to Fearless in One YearCoach Dykes kept his word. I got an excellent education… And I had to pay for it myself. My college days often looked something like this…4:30 AM in the gym lifting weights and running.8:00 AM – 2:00 PM Class. Since I was paying for my school on my own (I was still really poor), I took as many classes as I could each semester. I figured that the bulk of my expenses while at school was for room and board, so if I could graduate early, I’d save tens of thousands of dollars.2:00 PM – 3:00 PM I’d head to the field house to watch film.3:00 PM – 6:30 PM was football practice.7:00 PM – 9:00 PM I’d do odd jobs. Basically, anything I could do to make a little money.9:00 PM – Midnight, I’d do homework and study.During the summer, I’d work full-time, pay off my credit cards, and save up as much money as I could. Then, I’d use whatever I had left to take me through the next year.Life Lesson #4: A Strong Work Ethic Overcomes Most DeficienciesThe next summer, Atlantic Richfield offered me one of only 12 internships offered to students that year. At the end of the summer, though, I had to travel to Dallas to give a presentation to my boss, my boss’ boss, the 11 other interns, their bosses, and some of the corporate vice presidents who flew in from Bakersfield, CA.The Incident that Set the Stage for My Speaking Career Was a Huge Failure.When I walked into the room, I realized that I was the only person in the room not wearing a jacket. (I didn’t even own a jacket at the time.)The first intern got up to speak and had everyone laughing within a few sentences. (I didn’t have any jokes in my presentation.)The next speaker had a number of colored slides that she used as visual aids. Keep in mind that this was in the overhead projector days, so colored slides were rare. (I didn’t prepare ANY visuals.)The panic was increasing. When I was called to speak, my palms were sweating profusely. I speak pretty fast anyway, but when I get nervous, I speak REALLY fast. My entire 15-minute speech lasted less than four minmutes. (By the way, I said every word.) I also didn’t have a great ending, so I just finished the last sentence and quickly sat down. The ending was so abrupt, that the person leading the meeting wasn’t sure what to do, so she just called a break.As everyone went to the bathroom and got coffee refills, I sat in my seat with my head hung low. I had blown my big opportunity.It was as if I was once again the shy skinny kid, and the bully was punching me in the face. When the interviewers came in the spring to recruit their next interns, I put my name on the list. My advisor later told me that they had chosen to not even interview me, though. I was crushed.Although that time in my life was very low, today I realize how much of a blessing the whole incident was. That presentation fiasco was the first step down a road that changed my whole life for the positive.Life Lesson #5: The Toughest Challenges in Your Life are Often Your Biggest Opportunities for Improvement“When Life knocks you down, try to land on your back because if you can look up, you can GET UP!” – Les BrownFor full show notes visit: How a Shy, Trailer Park Kid Overcame Fear (And How You Can Too!)https://www.fearlesspresentations.com/how-a-shy-trailer-park-kid-became-a-world-class-speaker-and-how-you-can-too/
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