I was a shy kid. I kept to myself a lot of the time throughout Elementary and High school and the idea of public speaking terrified me! I hated the sound of my voice and one of my absolute biggest insecurities is that I sweat (A LOT) when I’m in a situation that makes me nervous or uncomfortable… seriously, its a real problem! I avoided speaking in front of a group as much as humanly possible, I would even avoid taking specific classes in university if I knew there was some sort of group or individual project that involved a presentation of some sort.
A couple years ago I decided that I wanted to get better at public speaking (or at least improve at it and not be terrified when I needed to do it). And yes, I had some help in my professional career. Working in sports bars forces you into a lot of conversations with new people which naturally makes you more comfortable. Real estate also helped me in that a lot of my job is meeting new clients and selling our team, our marketing strategy and our personalities. But for the most part these experiences were all in small groups which had become second nature to me. In 2017 I decided I would push myself to be more comfortable doing things that made me uncomfortable. Every month or two I have the opportunity to meet with developers and maybe 20-40 local realtors to give some input on what types of units, finishes and price points buyers in our local markets are looking for. I typically said no to these invites as they are time consuming and really of no benefit to me. I saw these as an opportunity to get more comfortable talking in front of larger groups so I started going to them and forcing myself to answer questions or give opinions. Trust me…. It really works!
Social Media has been a huge factor in becoming more comfortable being uncomfortable too! Instagram is a platform I’ve really fell in love with. Like I said, I hated hearing my voice recorded or on camera, so the other thing I pushed myself to do was do at least 1 Instagram story per day of me talking into the camera. Whether it was something real estate related, super excited about a new listing, on a wicked hike, reviewing a new beer, or just anything I wanted to rant about. These stories were brutal at the beginning! I was awkward and choppy and I felt very monotone, but I just kept posting them because I knew it would be good for me and that I’d improve. I’ve definitely seen the improvement and now its something I do daily because it’s fun and I love sharing my story. For me it really came down to self motivation and just understanding that I was really uncomfortable public speaking and wanting to get better. It really can get better you just need to push yourself in the right direction! I am happy to report that my sweating levels while public speaking have reduced quite a bit. Its still a problem on occasions but way less than it was a couple years ago!