The Little Secret

The Little Secret

One of the most nerve wracking experience of my life was giving my Ice Breaker speech “The Little Secret”.
I may  appear to you all to be quite an extrovert but it is quite another thing (as many of you know) getting up in front of 50 people and delivering a speech for the first time, quite apart from the fact that my speech was a very revealing one about my life and my family. I may deliver it again one day – who knows.
I took forever and a day deciding when I was ever going to be ready to present it to the audience.  I received an awful lot of gentle encouragement and chivvying along from Roger Harding who was President at the time and other delightful members but I stalled it for as long as I possibly could and drove them into a frustrated frenzy. I put weeks and weeks of preparation into this speech and rehearsed in front of my friends,  in front of Dele, my mentor and in front of a video on my Mac. I just could not get it perfect, or so it seemed to me.
On the day of delivery I felt sick to my stomach with nerves, I hardly slept a wink the night before, I almost copped out of coming to the club but I knew that facing everyone after not turning up was not an option.  I asked myself “what would a brave woman do?” I can still remember shaking in my seat that morning, my mouth was completely dry… I could not really put my mind on anything that was gong on in that meeting room, it was all about me and how sick I felt.
How time passes, that was more than 6 years ago and a lot of water has passed under the proverbial Early Birds bridge since. I no longer feel this level of anxiety and dread, yes I do still get some palpitations and tenseness before and during a speech but it is nothing like that very first speech which will stay in my mind forever. I suppose it must be the same, as with all things new, the first time one drives a car without L Plates or dives from a high diving board. The nerves do go, the feeling does pass and everyone in the audience is willing you on and supporting you to succeed. I learned that giving a speech is not really all about me, it is an awful lot about my audience and so when I put my attention on them and take it off me I get a terrific feeling of relief and I automatically feel lighter and more at ease.
Delivering my Ice Breaker made me a far braver woman – it is no little secret!  I am so glad I joined Early Birds – this club  makes me a better and much braver person!
Bianca Tait is an entrepreneur and specialises in business introductions within her network.
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