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5 Oct

how i overcame my fear of public speaking

spoiler alert: i haven’t!

okay, back story… i grew up regularly speaking at church since i was a small child. i gave talks to my whole congregations, talks to just the young women in my church, i went to meetings with adults at my church, etc. it’s a common practice in my religion. i also went to a private school before public high school and there we were taught to give oral reports, some as long as five minutes and memorized. so public speaking has never been a foreign concept in my life.

but i’ve always hated it.

i get clammy and my hands get super cold and i constantly risk blushing bright red whether i’m in front of two people or a crowd of 200.

you would think the more i did it throughout my life, the easier it would get. WRONG. in fact, the older i got the more my anxiety took over. when robbie and i first met, that’s when i started to completely shy away from any and all public speaking. i should also mention that robbie thrives here. he loves public speaking and is really good at it! he’s given a TEDx talk and before he came on full time for SRL he was actually doing it full time at his former job. he’d travel all over the country and speak to middle school, high school, and university students on behalf of the non-profit he worked for. it was really inspiring to me because it’s something i really struggled with myself.

the more my career progresses, the more public speaking i have to do. from panels to workshops to hosting this event and that event, public speaking is definitely a part of my chosen career. and honestly, i’m still terrified of it! as a grown adult, i force myself to do it. not because my career depends on it {i could definitely say thanks, no thanks to these opportunities}, but because i know i’m a more well-rounded businesswoman if i continue to practice something that’s hard for me. it’s easy to hop onto my IG Stories and post videos to my 375K+ followers worldwide, but it’s a completely different thing to go into a room and speak to 100 people in person. no do-overs, no editing, etc. but i’m doing it! and i’d encourage any of you to keep practicing something that’s hard for you in your career or daily life too. keep scrolling below for some of my public speaking tips!

last night i spoke on the LiketoKnow.It book tour panel with a few other amazing ladies and wore this blush power suit! it was such a great event and i enjoyed getting to meet so many local followers. thank you all for coming to hear all about my story! xx

here are a few tips that help me with public speaking:

1. practice, practice, practice!
i am not someone who can just ‘wing it.’ if i’m going to be on a panel or hosting an event, i always ask for the questions/script beforehand. i don’t necessarily memorize word-for-word what i’m going to say {although i know plenty of people who do!}, but having an idea of what my answers need to include and then being able to say those over and over in my head beforehand is so, so helpful. practice in the mirror if you need to or in front of a significant other or friend!

2. dress appropriately
i mentioned i get clammy {read: sweaty} when i public speak. not exactly dripping sweat, but there’s definitely moisture there {is this TMI?! possibly, but it’s also reality}. i know i can’t wear certain things when i public speak or i will literally OVERHEAT. no bulky layers, no thick sweaters, nothing constricting. i actually deal with claustrophobia, so when i overheat and feel like i can’t get out of the situation, it can lead to a panic attack… and that’s just not a good look for public speaking.

on that note, dress for confidence, too! wear something you know you look and feel amazing in. i always feel on top of the world when i’m speaking outfit-wise because i spend a lot of time putting together a look that makes me feel so good in!

3. realize it’s okay to make a mistake
no one is perfect, so it’s okay to ask for a question to be repeated if you’re on a panel. it’s okay to stop and start over with your answer to clarify better. it’s okay to make mistakes. at the end of the day, we are all human. i’ve heard so many public speakers make a joke out of the mistake{s}, and that’s a great way to handle it! regardless, it’s OKAY if your speech/presentation isn’t perfect. i definitely have to remind myself this!

blush blazer
blush pants
lace bodysuit
Chanel mules 
Chanel brooch
Chanel vanity bag
Chloe heart sunglasses
pearl earrings
Patina liquid lipstick

photos by Kristen Marie

4 Comments
  • Debbie Savage

    Hi Sarah! I have the same fear. I am starting out when getting more comfortable with IG Stories. LOL! You are an example and inspiration to me. The TIPS are spot on! Thank you for sharing your experience!
    xo Debbie | http://www.tothineownstylebetrue.com

    October 5, 2018 at 6:17 am Reply
  • Natalie D

    I had to come on here and read this post. I have always struggled with public speaking as well. It’s gotten better over the years but it’s never something I look forward to or something I think I’m great at. Thanks for sharing your experience and tips. It’s inspiring to see you doing what scares you!!

    October 7, 2018 at 2:50 am Reply
  • Astha

    Love your casual look
    http://krmangalam.edu.in/

    October 11, 2018 at 2:20 am Reply

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