Blog post -
Inspirational talks through the eyes of a speaker
As you’ve probably read in the previous blog post about the design of chatbots, I recently delivered a speech at a UX Monday event here in Munich.
Stepping out of my comfort zone
You can imagine that I was quite excited and happy about this great opportunity, however, I was also every bit as nervous. I must admit that I don’t feel joy when thinking of public speaking. I’m not the kind of person who really enjoys being the center of attention. Instead, I prefer staying on the sidelines, listening to inspiring talks in an anonymous audience, and showing up to such an event when I feel like doing it. I really admire people who stand in front of an audience on a regular basis and seem to enjoy it as well. To me, public speaking feels like being unpleasantly vulnerable, whereas sitting in the audience is a relaxing safe haven. The second option is my preference, enjoying the beer in my hand, listening to inspirational talks after a long working day.
This time it would be me in front of the audience, trying to inspire and entertain people during their well-deserved evening off. I had to tackle this challenge and find a suitable topic that hopefully wouldn’t trigger an immediate power nap in the audience. As an employee at Testbirds, a company known for crowdtesting, I naturally knew that the collective wisdom of the crowd would help me solve this problem. So, I started brainstorming and managed to find a great topic with the help of colleagues and friends. In this process, I also gained my colleague Tessa as a fantastic co-speaker, which had the unintended but welcome side-effect of reducing my stress levels immediately, explained by the old saying, “a problem shared is a problem halved”.
Back in the zone after conquering my fears
In the end, our talk at the 19th UX Monday at the Testbirds Munich office went well and all my nervousness was for nothing. We had a great time, with great organizers from the UX Monday team, and an even better audience.
I personally learned that everyone should volunteer to give back to a community yourself and others can benefit from. Discomfort with public speaking isn’t only my personal problem, the fear of public speaking is considered the number one fear in society and even has its own term: “glossophobia“. This means that most people are afraid, and are relieved when someone else is speaking. So, be the person who’s speaking next, it will give you that little boost of confidence you need for future public speaking challenges. I’m looking forward to the next UX Monday, but in the audience with a beer in my hand, taking in inspirational talks after a long working day.
This blog post was originally published on Testbirds.com.
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- Women in IT
- personal growth