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Public Speaking and Taking Chances

Diana here:

Public Speaking-Taking Chances

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
Did you catch that? The men who hung around Jesus were not taught in a school how to do their job. They were taught by the Master, who mentored them through actions and stories. When it came time to do what was required, do you think they felt like they knew exactly what steps to take to reach people?
I’m guessing not. I’m also guessing they were afraid of what would happen when they gathered at that first Pentecost. But they trusted, and they acted.
That’s what we have to do as writers. Many of us have been to school but not for writing. When it comes time to share our work we quiver, but even the most introverted will find a way to speak up and ask for help, or stand in front of a podium.
Are you afraid of public speaking? I am. I’m more than afraid. I am terrified. I could say, “No, I don’t want to.” And I do, but sometimes I feel an internal push (pretty sure for me that is from the Holy Spirit), and I find that I’m practicing a speech and then giving it.
Last August, I was invited to speak at a writer’s retreat—no, not just speak—but to teach a course on Goodreads. I lost a lot of sleep worrying that I couldn’t do it. I was sick to my stomach. I whined about it to my family, but when the time came, I was ready. Not only did I have that course, at the last minute I threw together a short workshop on Instagram.
Was I afraid when I got there? You bet.
So how did I overcome the fear? Using the 3Ps
Prayer. I prayed for Jesus to come before I had to give it and if not, then please give me the courage and the right words when the time arrived.
Patience. I clung to the memory of school plays, dance recitals and singing in church and remembered though I was afraid I did what was required. And no one said I did a bad job.
Practice. Walking around my house with my speech in hand. This should go without saying, you have to rehearse. Unless you know your topic so well you talk about it in your sleep, you must practice.
The next time you feel a push to speak with an agent, write outside of your genre or give a speech remember those 3 Ps.
What have you done outside of your comfort zone?

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