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From Terrified to Thriving: 5 Ps for Mastering Any Skill (Including Public Speaking!)

Early in my career, the mere thought of public speaking was terrifying.😨

Knees shaking. Voice cracking.

The insecurity as I got ready to take the stage was palpable. Icy cold sweat trickled down my back.

Fast forward to today. Typically I feel excited and confident before a presentation. The jitters I do feel are the energy I need to deliver my content well.

This win is important to remember because I have a gold medal in focusing on my failures. 🏅

I think about this transformation as not just getting better, but 𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙩 𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧.

The skills and mindsets that helped me most?

This is about a mindset of resilience. It is the ability to bounce back stronger after each fall, learning from experience and cultivating a tenacious spirit. We emerge triumphant, not just despite the difficulties, but because of them.

I looked for every speaking opportunity I could find. I dedicated time to refining my craft, honing my message, and perfecting my delivery. The more I practiced, the more natural and authentic my voice became.

I am a bit of a perfectionist. Ok, more than a bit (a post for another day). To prevent that from derailing me I began to look at each speech as an experiment. An opportunity to test out new ideas and methods. In this way, I was able to reframe the 'success' of a speech by how much I learned from it.

I was told to 'speak to the friendly person in the audience', 'look over their heads', or 'pretend they're all in their underwear'. All this would shut the audience out or make fun of them. Instead, I chose to lean into the audience and I discovered a wonderful partnership there. They want you to be successful! Creating this connection and involving them in a conversation made a huge difference, for me and for them.

These skills and mindsets are ones I've now used countless times to improve at everything from writing to skiing.

But not cooking. I actually don't enjoy cooking. For me, it's a functional activity, much like brushing my teeth. I'm envious of the joy it brings to others. I know I would be a better cook if I felt joy while doing it. Which brings me to my 5th P:

For the other 4 P's to work I have to find genuine pleasure in doing the 'thing'; in performing the activity itself.

Learning how to 𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙩 𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧 is a universal continuous improvement methodology for personal and professional growth.

Here’s to a year of bold strides, unwavering resilience, the joy of collaborative success, and great food... cooked by someone other than me! 🚀✨🍜


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