Clammy hands, nerves, shaky, excitement, heart-pounding, anticipation and adrenaline; these were just some of the emotions and feelings I had just before delivering my first speech during Confident Speakers. Have you ever felt any of these emotions and feelings before delivering a speech? I am sure many of us have; perhaps at work or at a wedding or even during a conference call. Today, I want to take you through my own personal journey to see how it looks on the other side, after delivering your speech, especially when having the opportunity to practise it here through the Confident Speakers course.
Firstly, I hadn’t delivered a speech in front of many people since I was in education and I thought because I was doing my speech from the safety of my home and through the camera at the top of my laptop, I would feel brave and confident and ready to deliver my speech. Of course, that was not the case. As soon as I heard my name called out to go next, my stomach dropped, and all I could hear was my heart pounding. I took a deep breath in and got my speech up on my laptop screen and was trying so hard not to show my nerves.
Three, two, one…Here I was presenting my speech, I was now in it until the very end. In the beginning, my hands were very shaky and I could hear it starting to come through in my voice. However, as I got towards the middle of my speech, I started to feel a little less nervous and more excited. I had adrenaline pumping through my body and this enormous wave of feeling empowered by telling people my story through a speech. The speech I told that day was an extremely personal story of mine, however, knowing that I had people’s attention throughout and knowing I could be making a difference to all these listeners really made me want to finish my speech with purpose.
Ellie the lead trainer and founder of Confident Speakers taught me and the other delegates on the very first session how timing was very important. A speech should never be under or over the time limit given. In this case, it was a 5-minute limit and the trainers have a timer for every speech we do to ensure we practise good timing. We are always given a 1-minute warning notice before your time is up, so you know when it’s time to conclude and wrap up your speech. I knew this and I did think about it whilst writing my speech, however as I was so engrossed in presenting my speech at the time I had forgotten all about this time limit. So when I did finish delivering my speech I didn’t quite get the punch line I was hoping for.
Although I didn’t feel I delivered the ending as I originally wanted to, the emotions and feelings I had after were that I felt on top of the world. I could not believe after delivering just one speech on the second day of the course I was already feeling more confident. I can honestly say that after this day I could not wait until the next time I got to do it all over again. Not only was I feeling proud of myself and really feeling like I could do anything, the evaluation from Ellie, the other trainers and the guest speaker of the day Jeremy Wilson, was just another highlight. You honestly feel like you are on a cloud nine!
Confident Speakers continuously focuses on your strengths and building up your strengths even more. The trainers really know their stuff and were able to help me improve my strengths even further to the point that I now feel I can communicate a speech with confidence. Since taking the course I have found that my communication skills have really improved and because of this, my work has also improved as I have been able to have better and clearer conversations with my colleagues. I couldn’t recommend this course enough, it really has changed a lot for me and not just in communication, but also knowing that I really can achieve whatever I want to, now knowing that I have this feeling of confidence behind me.