Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Get confident slowly: One speaker's insights

Get Rich Slowly has been called the "most inspiring money blog," but today, I think it's among the most inspiring public speaking blogs.  Put down what you're doing and read this: In "How to Build Confidence and Overcome Fear," blogger J.D. Roth uses his fear of public speaking to think through how to get confident...slowly.  Here's where he starts:
Last week I did something that scared the hell out of me. I stood in front of nearly 200 financial planners and I talked to them about why financial blogs are a good thing....I’ve had enough feedback to understand that I’m an effective communicator — when I use the written word. I’m less confident as a speaker. I don’t have time to pause to formulate my thoughts. I’m not able to edit. I’m afraid of being trapped in a corner without being able to talk my way out. Basically, I’m scared to speak.
For the last two years, however, he has been saying "yes" to all media interviews and speaking opportunities, precisely because they scare him. Here's why:

To say “no” is to live in fear. My goal is to continually improve myself, to become better than I am today. One way to do that is to do the things that scare me, to take them on as challenges, and to learn from them — even if I fail.
Roth urges you to try "the magic of thinking big" to do so, and this post is a long, thorough and thoughtful pep talk on just how to do so. He has 14 sound pieces of advice (I like "get off your 'but'" best) and a reading list if you want more guidance and inspiration. Would you try the approach of saying "yes," even if speaking scares you? Share your reactions in the comments, please.

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