When I was younger, I would avoid public speaking like the plague. It terrified me.
Even throughout my time at University, I would often do more of the group work behind the scenes so that I had to do less presenting.
Put me in a small group and I can talk the hind legs off a donkey, but in front of an audience and I clam up, stutter and work myself up into a complete tizz.
So I’m not really sure why I said yes to speaking at the latest Fitfluence event, partly because I want to share my story with others to help them achieve their own goals, and partly because pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow and develop.
Knowing that I’d be incredibly nervous, I spent a lot of time thinking about my talk, writing notes and notecards and practising in my kitchen.
Luckily on Monday it all paid off, and I felt not quite as terrified as I’d thought, standing in front of a room full of people. I had my Mum and friend, Helena, stationed at the back of the room – incase I needed some friendly faces to look out for, but once I started speaking, it just started to flow.
I felt like my speech went really well, and I’ve had some brilliant feedback on it. And shockingly, I actually really enjoyed it!
I loved hearing the other girls speak too, and have come away from the night with a lot to think about. I especially enjoyed hearing Dani Watson (founder of The Clique) talk about seeing other people in your niche as potential partners and allies rather than competition!
I’m not going to write my speech out here word for word, partly because I ad-libbed a lot, and partly because I might use it again (haha) but I’ll outline some of my main points for those that couldn’t make it to the Fitfluence event on Monday!
Dreams Into Plans
I split my speech into sections with my top tips for turning your own dreams into plans;
- Pick a goal – be specific.
- Do your research – google, read blogs, speak to people in the field.
- Make a plan- small, easy steps will edge closer to your goal.
- Be flexible – Allow your dreams to change, grow and develop.
- Tell people about it – be honest and upfront with people although you don’t have to shout it from the rooftops.
- Have someone to be accountable to – someone reliable to get you off the sofa, home from the pub, motivate you when you’re lacking it.
- Have supportive people around you, whether it’s someone training with you or just cooking dinner after a long day.People may not be supportive immediately, don’t get angry, don’t cut them off, it’s OK if you drift away, they might drift back to you
- Stay strong – have core beliefs and values that you won’t sway on.
- Know that it’s a lot of work! Anything worth doing usually is! If you want something, you’ll find time to do it and make it work.
- You may need to make sacrifices to achieve your goal, it will be worth it in the end
- Time management is crucial, multi task – utilise your time effectively.
- Ask for help – you don’t and can’t know everything.
- Be generous with your own time, work together, collaborate on projects. you never know where things could lead, what could happen.
- Know that it won’t always go to plan, route might not be smooth or obvious. You have to be resilient.
- Don’t be afraid to change plans. If you’re not enjoying it, you don’t have to push on regardless.
- Try to enjoy the journey, it won’t always be easy but it will be worth it.
- Be kind to yourself sometimes- you need a break, listen yourself, your gut trust yourself.
Because I’ve got this public speaking thing down (not!) I’m speaking at the Cardiff International Half Marathon expo about ‘Social Media and Running’ – and if my knee has it together by then, I might be running too. Or not – we’ll see.
So if you’re running the half or will be around Cardiff on Good Friday, I would love to see you there. I’m before Paula Radcliffe – so even if you just come to see her and happen to accidentally listen to a few minutes of my talk, I’d love it!