I still remember the butterflies inside my stomach everytime I had to speak. Podium is good becos can hide behind it. Gives a false sense of confidence. But when one has to walk up and down a crowded room...boy oh boy oh boy....is that hard. Makes one feel so naked, so exposed, all jittery, everyone must notice etc etc.
I think I did it well, sometimes..... Sometimes a stanger amongst the audience may come up to me and say "How do you do it? Speak without fear?" but sometimes a well-meaning close colleague may tell me this instead "You sound very nervous just now. Your voice was shaking." So who's telling the truth? The stranger or the friend? Maybe both. Maybe the stranger was just being kind. Maybe the friend was just being honest.
Once I had a chairman of a conference cancel on me at the very last minute and I mean the very last minute. "MG. Something came up. I can't make it. You'll have to chair the conference." That was tough. "Shit! Now how on earth was little ole me going to chair a panel discussion on how to list your company on the stock exchange when the panelists are merchant bankers, corporate lawyers, public relations consultants etc?" Thank goodness I got out of that one unscathed. I begged another speaker to do it of course. Hehehe.
If I had to speak in public again for any event, I probably would be able to do it but not without lots of fear and butterflies. It just doesn't come easy to me. My level of confidence for public speaking on a scale of 1-10 would probably be 3 or 4 ie on the low end. My second sister on the other hand loves to speak in public and does it very well. I'm wondering today: Is public speaking an acquired skill or is someone born with it? Can one do it well only with lots of practise or would someone thats "born with it" do it much more easily? Can I teach my children to speak well without fear or do I have to let them discover for themselves when the grow up? Ah... so many questions... too few answers.