Gave a Keynote Address – Number 14

   I have a friend who has a camper that she keeps permanently in a really nice campground in Wisconsin. She has been letting us use it whenever we want. It has become my little sanctuary and my place of healing. I journal, pray, meditate, read, walk, and just get quiet when I am there. One night I went for a walk and I got the message that I was to be the keynote speaker at our upcoming Women in Podcasting festival. I don’t do public speaking. When I’ve tried, I’ve cried. I just knew that this was something that I was going to have to push through. I needed to do this. I called Rob and asked him to come meet me. When I told him he just looked at me in amazement and said, “I’ve been praying you’d realize.” I told him not to talk to me about it. I was so afraid that I would change my mind. I wrote the talk, asked friends for advice on how to push through the fear the day of the event, and listened to two songs on repeat that gave me courage. Brave by Sara Bareilles and Brave by Nicole Nordeman.  

   I was beyond terrified to tell the parts of my story that I was planning on sharing. I had never used my voice in such a public way. This was personal. This wasn’t me talking about a TV show on a podcast. This was real and intimate and raw. I got up there and told the truth and stumbled and struggled, but I got up there and I did it and it was terrifying and didn’t get easier as I went along. I never got comfortable. I never felt like I was in flow or in the zone. I simply endured it.

   I’m not cut out to be a public speaker in that way. I love to be interviewed and I can do public speaking like this on a podcast where there’s a buffer between me and the faces watching me, but I don’t ever want to do a keynote address ever again. Do I regret it? No way. It’s important to try things and figure out if it’s fear that’s blocking you or maybe it’s just how you’re wired. Rob can get up in front of any size audience and talk about most topics without any prep or warning. He is absolutely wired to be a teacher and a public speaker and game show host. I’m absolutely not. I can write. I can talk. I cannot eloquently express myself on stage in front of an audience. I can’t memorize even one line of anything. It’s ok to try things and learn that you aren’t wired that way. It’s ok to say, “I appreciate you inviting me to speak at —-, but I prefer interview style. Would someone be willing to interview me, instead?” It’s ok to know what your skillset is and to ask for the ways that would help you be the most successful at getting your message out. Regardless of my stumbling, I got the words out and I survived. 

Sometimes bravery is using your voice for the first time.

If you enjoyed this chapter and want to dig deeper into each story, my husband Rob and I do an exclusive companion podcast on my Patreon page.  We give further background into the story and include the spouse’s perspective.  Each one of these episodes averages 45 minutes to an hour.  I also share different content across my social media channels and at my blog on the website.   Podcast: Broken to Brave on LibsynWebsite: BrokenToBrave.comFacebook: @BrokentoBravePodcastTwitter: @broken2brave