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You Are Capable of Far More Than You Think

November 29, 2011

I remember the first time I spoke in front of a large audience. The arrangements had been made months in advance, at which time it sounded enticing, even glamorous.

Truthfully, I was far more interested in the idea of me as a speaker, rather than concerning myself with the pesky details of the event itself. Besides, how hard could it be, to talk about something you know in front of a group of strangers?

But walking in to the cavernous auditorium that morning, it suddenly dawned on me: I have not quite thought this through. My dry mouth hung open as I gazed around the theatre, ultimately fixing my eyes on the enormous stage looming up front.

“Are you sure this is the right room?” I nervously checked in with my host. He just smiled and gave me a thumbs-up, while hundreds of people filed in to fill up the seats. The delicate little butterflies in my stomach now turned into violent, wrenching badgers, desperately trying to claw their way out.

I managed to complete the twenty-minute presentation without losing control of any major bodily functions, and made my exit to lackluster applause. I then proceeded directly to my hotel room, whereupon I curled up into a fetal position for the next two hours.

They say that, for most people, the fear of public speaking is worse than the fear of death, and I can see why. My talk was a disaster, and I wanted nothing more than to just hide out for a few months until the laughter died down.

But, of course, I didn’t do that. I eventually got up, splashed some cold water on my face, and headed down to re-join the conference proceedings.

Someone told me once that fear goes hand in hand with faith and fulfillment.

To continue reading this riveting story, click here to head over to The High Calling.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2011 10:58 am

    One of my first presentations was to a senior vice president, who sat there with his eyes closed during the entire presentation, with his fist pushed against his cheek and his flesh lapping over his one eye.
    Intimidating! But he had been listening the whole time and grilled me about the contents.

  2. November 29, 2011 11:20 am

    Bradley,

    A very inspiring story.
    I like how you decided to curl up in the fetal position for a few hours and then shake it off by splashing cold water on your face.
    And then preparing next time by memorizing the script.
    I like how you pushed on to improve your performance all the while overcoming adversity related to your personal feelings of self-surety.

    Personally, I enjoy speaking in front of people. I have yet to speak in front of as many people as you have but can say that I had the fluttery butterflies when performing the acoustic guitar and singing on stage alone in front of 80-100 people.

    How does speaking in front of hundreds to thousands of people change the dynamic of public speaking?

    Matthew

  3. November 29, 2011 9:01 pm

    Yikes! If God is willing, I will never have to speak in front of an audience. But, if He calls me to, I will be contacting you for encouragement.
    My nephew answered the alter-call that Franklin Graham gave at our church this weekend. (Glory to God). He is a Sales Manager at a local resort – I tell him about your blog the next time I talk to him – he will get a lot out of it. I’m not in the corporate world, but I really like your bog anyway. May God continue to bless you with such a wonderful way to communicate faith.

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