Public Speaking (with a visual at the end)

by Kristin Morrison on February 12, 2012

in Being in the Unknown,Dreams,Letting Go,Making Friends with Fear,Starting Something New,Taking A Risk



What a month!

Most of January was spent gearing up to speak at the business conference in Las Vegas. The thought of public speaking brought up so much fear that I could barely sleep some nights in January.

Here was my biggest fear:  I would get up on stage and completely forget what I’d been hired to speak for an hour (goal setting and how to achieve goals).

To combat that fear, I practiced my talk/Power Point countless nights in my living room with my fireplace as the audience. While I was practicing my talk I would experience a mix of feelings: excitement, terror, frustration, exhaustion (January was also a very busy work month for me).

I’d never done a Power Point before (I had so many friends say ‘really???’ when I told them this).


Never done a power point presentation and I’d never before spoken to an audience the size that would be at the conference.

Also I’d never been paid to give a live talk (I’ve been paid by a few companies to do webinars and teleclasses. Those have been quite easy. I’m behind the phone and computer) but never a live talk with real people (lots of them) sitting in real chairs in front of me.

Yow. I felt a lot of pressure to do a good job. And I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself anyway.

So therefore I was experiencing double pressure.

So, all of this to say, January was not the most fun month I’ve ever had.

And what made it worse was that I kept thinking thoughts of , “This is going to go badly. I’m going to make a fool out of myself, I just know it.”

And yet, my talk (funny enough) was all about how the thoughts we think and the words we say create our reality. Good and bad.


I know this.

And here I was speaking it every night to myself and to my fireplace as I was practicing.

A week before my talk I got it.

I realized that I had to change my thinking or my talk would go crappy.

I would bomb if I didn’t change my thinking.

So I began to imagine myself giving a great talk.

And having a great time at the conference.

My affirmation became, “My talk exceeds my wildest expectations. I feel touched, moved and inspired while I’m speaking. I have so much fun on stage!
The audience is deeply inspired by my talk. I have so much fun at the conference and I experience happy surprises as a result of speaking. The positive rewards of being at the conference exceed anything I can imagine.”

Here’s what actually happened:

I went to the conference and some of my coaching clients got very emotional and cried when they saw me.

I did too.

I’ve never met any of them in person, only on the phone, and it was incredible to get to hug them and look in their eyes and really connect with them.

Words can’t express how touching this was for me.

Here’s the thing: the past couple of months I’d been wondering if I should continue doing this coaching work (Am I really making a difference? Is my work helping people? So many people are suddenly popping up and doing coaching in my specialized niche. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this anymore?!).

After meeting my coaching clients at the conference I really got that I am making a difference and have helped a lot of people. Hearing this from many of my coaching clients through the course of the weekend was the shot in the arm I needed to continue to passionately do what I’ve doing: helping business owners achieve success in their business and their life. I felt inspired to continue my work.

And the talk?

My talk went better than I could have ever anticipated.

I got on stage and was happily surprised that I felt so confident and self assured. It was incredible to experience those feelings after a couple of months of terror at the thought of public speaking.

After my talk I went to the ‘author table’ where I proceeded to sell every single book I brought to the conference.

I got to sign my books for the first time and hand them to real people (instead of simply seeing the sales numbers on Amazon and on my website). It was so fun to personally meet and connect with the people that would be reading my book!

I had hired a videographer to film my talk and he interviewed nine of my coaching clients who gave video testimonials of my work.

Seeing and hearing my coaching clients talking on the videos about how I’ve helped them has brought tears to my eyes. And the fact that they were willing to do video testimonials was touching also (it’s a lot to give a video testimonial–more pressure than simply writing one. And yet my coaching clients were willing to do that for me. I’m grateful).

I spoke at the conference in the morning and that night I went to a dinner reception with the conference attendees. While I was at the dinner, a couple of the board members for the organization that had hired me to speak asked if they could talk with me for a few moments.

I felt like I was in trouble.

I had no idea why I’d be in trouble but hearing those words ‘we’d like to speak with you for a few moments’ brought up that feeling.

I followed them to a room away from the reception hall. I felt like I was going to the principals office (obviously I have a lot of memories of this!)

When I sat down they looked at me and were quiet for a moment.

I felt even more nervous.

Then one of them spoke. “We have received so much positive feedback from the conference attendees about your talk today, Kristin. It was an incredible talk! We knew it would be. That’s why we’d hired you. So we’d like to book you for next year’s conference. We’d like to fly you to San Antonio, Texas, to speak at the 2013 conference.”


Here’s a short snippet of my talk on You Tube: Kristin speaking at the conference in Las Vegas.

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