Kirsty O’Callaghan is now a sought after speaker in the areas of Resilience and Relationships, however it wasn’t always this way. Kirsty explains how this overnight success was anything but, and shares how you can take your business to the next level by developing a great speak and even greater you.
I have been speaking professionally now for nearly a decade. My business growth demanded that this was the next step that had to be taken. I didn’t think it would be that hard, I talk a lot, am good with people and can keep my nerves under control and most importantly know and believe in my topic.
I remember my first ‘gig’. I thought I was ready, had my notes, and had a room full of people, and then it happened. A few minutes before it was time to go on, I started panicking, my heart rate went up, I got a nervous rash on my neck and chest and my throat felt like it was closing over. My thoughts were telling me I wouldn’t remember what to say, who was going to listen to me, and other such defeating thoughts. I went on, basically read my notes and even though no one complained felt I didn’t hit that mark of inspiring my audience. If there was PowerPoint back then, it would of felt like death by PowerPoint!
So I spent the next 5 years learning to become an amazing speaker not just a good one. I attended training, watched lots of inspiring speakers and spent time overcoming any limiting thinking that said I was not good enough.
The 3 most impactful things I learnt was
- Every speaker gets nervous
- Plan, prepare and practice for each audience, every time you present as if it is the first time
- Especially if you are a women, dress to impress
I began to feel more comfortable to tell my story to create connections to my audience and what I was sharing. I began to set intentions to be in service to the audience, to inspire and excite them and stopped making it about whether I was accepted. I also began to realize that it takes a few minutes to create a change for someone and for them to want more or for them to shut down, so how was I going to make the most of those few minutes.
Part of any trade or profession is the time you put into building experience and how much passion and focus you have to push through the small-unpaid ‘gigs’. Like any great performer will tell you, the perceived overnight success equated to many hours and years of little or no pay, presenting to people that really weren’t listening. However, these hours are never wasted, as they prepare you and nothing is more valuable than exposure and learning what not to do before you hit the big time. The journey of small beginnings teaches you resilience, determination, and gives you space to reinvent and learn.
My biggest piece of advice; aim for excellence when presenting your passion or service to others. Make it about them, not you and always have great shoes.