Public speaking is not my thing. Actually, it goes further than that. Public speaking terrifies me! I’d rather do almost anything else – skydive (heights also scare me), listen to a Justin Bieber album (*shudder*), or even give up peanut butter for a week (anyone who knows me knows that would be a BIG DEAL).
That’s why I’m in awe of my clients. Many of them are keynote speakers. Give them a stage, and they’ll own it. Put me on a stage, and my face would turn beetroot red, my tongue would turn into cement, and I’d self-combust with anxiety on the spot.
Give me a keyboard, though, and the words flow. I find it so much easier to express myself through the written (or typed) word than the spoken word.
Of course, not many people could offer a succinct speech on the spot. You need to plan what you say. Even so, my nature is that I prefer to not be in front of a crowd of people.
One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that a lot of speakers struggle to write. They speak so eloquently and with deep insight on stage – even when their speech is “off the cuff”. But the words don’t come so easily when they sit with pen and paper or a keyboard and computer screen. While someone like me gets stage fright, it’s almost like they get page fright!
I understand this. We place a lot of pressure on ourselves to get things “right” the first time around. This rarely happens with most things in life – especially writing! That’s the beauty of editing. The editing process is when words are crafted into something more artful and on point. The most important thing is to get something – anything – down on the page or screen. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. It most likely won’t be (and what’s perfect, anyway?).
We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we all can work on them. I know I could – and probably should – work on my public speaking skills. I have a lot of people I know who can help me in that space!
Don’t let page fright get in the way of communicating your message. If you need help refining your words – whether it’s for a keynote, blog post, whitepaper or book – feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.