I watched a video of myself today. This is something I would usually shy away from, but on this occasion it was different. Because it was a video of me doing my first ever talk to an audience.
Once I’d stopped judging my appearance and wondering why I do that weird lopsided thing with my mouth, I allowed myself to appreciate what I had achieved. Even I thought I came across well, and that I had spoken from the heart.
Fortunately, so did my audience, who gave me great feedback and applause. I couldn’t stop crying at the end. Watching it back, I can’t believe I made it such a big deal about getting up there and speaking, but truly it was the hardest thing.
The subject of my talk was performance, and about how I’d been a performer all my life but had only recently begun to discover who I truly am. I was surprised at how articulate I was, how eloquent I sounded, and how I managed to structure the talk without even having thought about it before I stood up to speak.
Although I love writing and will always be a writer, there is something so powerful about connecting with an audience when you speak your truth. It’s a new experience for me but one I will be trying again
In fact, I have just booked myself on to a three-day public speaking course entitled Speak Like a TED Talker, run by the lovely Sarah Lloyd-Hughes, who gave me the platform to do the mini-talk that was videoed.
After years of singing to someone else’s tune, I think I have finally found my voice. And that’s something to celebrate.