On August 26, I'll have the pleasure and honor to be a speaker and panelist at the HW.CLB launch event at the Sutton Place Hotel in Downtown Vancouver. While sharing this exciting news on my Instagram, I reflected on my journey to become a public speaker - and I thought of sharing a personal story with you. 🥰
Honestly, becoming a public speaker never crossed my mind, and as a kid, I was incredibly shy and the definition of an introvert. If I could just hide all day and not have to interact with anyone, that's what I would do. So how did this happen?
The journey began around 2016 - 2017, while I was advancing my career as a Digital Marketer. During that time, there was a surge of Meet Up events, many of which were related to the marketing industry. Despite my social anxiety, I loved attending those events, learning from the speakers, and connecting with fellow marketing professionals. Gradually, I started feeling a desire to become a speaker at one of these events. But how could I achieve that when I was so terrified of public speaking?
Then an opportunity came. I was working as the Director of Digital Marketing at a web development agency and I was invited to support our Creative Director in a presentation, mainly assisting with the Q&A session to offer a marketing perspective. The event took place at CodeCore in Vancouver, and there were about 70 people in the room. And I completely bombed LOL 😂 I was terrified - I've never listened to my voice over a mic before and, my friend, I did not like that! (PS: below is my only photo of that sad day):
Determined to change this, I decided to join Toastmasters, where I met weekly with a group of individuals also aiming to improve their public speaking skills. Although I didn't really notice any immediate improvements, something happened - because I would soon start speaking at a number of events and actually feeling great about it!
Eventually, invitations to speak started coming my way. I was a guest speaker at Langara College, I spoke at the Latincouver's LCPN Cafe, and I hosted a workshop for Portal Delaz. Heck - I also taught a Social Media Marketing class at VanWest College for their business program!
And somewhere along this way, a shift occurred. I no longer feared speaking in public; instead, I felt confident, comfortable, and even exhilarated by the energy of the audience. That rush of adrenaline became empowering rather than daunting.
The first opportunities came my way because I had established a growing career in Canada, earning authority and trust in my field (marketing). But the more I spoke at events, the more people would think of me to speak at other events. It all began to flow naturally. (Below is a photo of me hosting a workshop at the Sandman Hotel in 2019!).
In January 2020, I launched my Business Coaching business with a workshop for 40 guests, marking a significant turning point. I started speaking more frequently, appearing on Instagram Stories (which I completely dreaded), hosting webinars, creating online courses, and addressing larger audiences on various stages.
Noteworthy moments included speaking at the Pechakucha New Westminster, sharing the stage with New West's Mayor himself, being a keynote speaker for Latincouver + Vancity Pitch Fest, and serving as a panelist for a conference with 150 women at a hotel in Downtown (picture below!).
The more I immersed myself in this role, the more I saw myself as that confident person speaking in public. I had essentially become that person, shaping my own reality.
Reflecting on this journey, I recognize how what happened really aligns with my coaching style, even though I wasn't aware of it when I embarked on my public speaking journey. The secret lies in the mindset of believing you're already there while taking inspired action every step of the way - from learning the necessary skills to actively seeking opportunities. This is genuinely the path to manifesting your dreams - whether is public speaking or something completely different.
So this is what I learned, my friend. I hope this story inspires you to pursue seemingly impossible dreams and serves as a reminder that we have ample time to acquire new skills and create new realities. So, if you desire it, go for it and trust that it's within your reach. ❤️