Hope you had a great long weekend! 🙂
Let’s dive right into our Story, Highlight, and call to Action for the week 🙂
I just delivered my first TEDx talk last Saturday! It was an amazing, emotional, life-changing experience!
But at around 9 PM the night before my TEDx talk, I experienced Imposter’s Syndrome.
These thoughts came to mind:
“Sha, are you good enough to deliver the TEDx talk?
You will talk about overcoming the fear of public speaking.
What if you get so nervous you mess up? That’s too much pressure!
The video will be published on TEDx YouTube with 38M subscribers, no editing and it will be there forever.
Your career as a professional speaker will be on the line.”
Other thoughts came to mind and I had to stop myself from entertaining those thoughts.
So I decided to watch Brene Brown’s TEDx talk on The Power of Vulnerability.
Three minutes into watching it, I said, “Oh no! I’m not as good as Brene Brown. What will I do?!”
At this point, I was already so exhausted physically and emotionally. I’ve been writing and rewriting my TEDx talk for more than a month. And then on Wednesday night, only three days before the TEDx event, I decided to change the talk. I’ve also cried a lot in the process of writing my TEDx talk because I had to bring to life some painful and heart-warming stories.
So I said, “Relax, Sha!”
I pep-talked myself and reminded myself what public speaking is and why I’m doing it. I shared the key message and idea of my TEDx talk with me. In other words, I was the first audience of my own TEDx talk! Hehe!
My fear turned into excitement and an even stronger conviction about how powerful the idea I’ll share in my TEDx talk is! It can potentially help millions of people overcome their fear of public speaking.
I’ve met students, millennials, professionals, C-suite leaders in their 60s, and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies who are scared of public speaking. Some CEOs shared with me that they’re so scared of public speaking, that’s why they just read the speech that their staff wrote for them.
If you’re afraid of public speaking, I feel you. I cried in my first speech — no words, just tears. And even if I’ve been speaking professionally for over a decade now, I still experience nervousness from time to time. My Imposter’s Syndrome the night before my TEDx talk was so severe I almost froze! Thank God my TEDx talk literally pulled me out of the pit of doubts and anxiousness and brought me to a space where I felt excitement!
This is why I am so excited to share my TEDx talk video with you once it’s out!!!
My hope is that the idea I shared in my TEDx talk will help you overcome your fear of public speaking and inspire you to speak up and raise others up.
“Imposter’s Syndrome is like the gift wrapper for an amazing gift you are about to uncover.”
Call to ACTION
Do you experience Imposter’s Syndrome from time to time?
That’s normal and that’s okay.
Approach Imposter’s Syndrome with curiosity and gentleness.
You got this!!!
I wish you fearless possibilities!
Keynote Speaker l Author l Adjunct Faculty, Asian Institute of Management
P.S.1 There are so many people I want to thank who helped me make my first TEDx talk happen — the TEDx event organizers, my family and friends, and friends from Toastmasters and speaking communities. Special thanks to Coen and Marc who hopped on a Zoom call with me to talk about my TEDx talk.
My friend Clyde was in South Korea to present her paper, and she still made time to read my TEDx talk and comment. My friend Val from the U.S. helped me polish my talk, suggested an outfit I can wear, and made time for so many calls and chats with me prior to the TEDx event.
On the day of the event, I invited four of my closest friends as my guests and I am so grateful for their presence.
Friends are real blessings!
From dress rehearsals to moral support to me saying “I forgot to bring my pearl earrings” and they brought earrings for me. Women supporting women 🙂
Celebrating over dinner after the TEDx event 🙂