Below are reflections from a client who chose to engage with me, to discover a different process to face her fear of public speaking. The one thing I know is, it’s never about the ‘issue’ presenting.
I am always deeply moved, and honoured, when the individuals I engage with are willing to share their experience with others.
I came into contact with Lisa because I was seeking guidance on how to deliver a polished business presentation and facilitated workshop. The event was less than a month away and I was worried that my hosts would lose faith in my ability to lead a project because of my clunky presentation skills. Lisa was recommended to me by one of Ottawa’s finest facilitators; a well-respected author who was unable to coach me herself.
I have always avoided opportunities to speak publicly; in small team meetings or at large professional or social events. Recognizing that my fear of public speaking was immobilizing me, I took countless evening courses and professional development opportunities. None of these made a meaningful difference to my presentation experience.
Right from the start, Lisa was confident that within four sessions I would be able to present publicly by addressing my fear differently. I was skeptical. But I was desperate and time was running out, so I agreed.
My first session was interesting. Lisa’s approach showed me that inward reflection was needed to confront my fear. A simple concept that made practical sense, but one I had never heard before in the context of public speaking phobias. I wasn’t sure I was ready for an intense inward conversation; by creating a safe and supportive environment, Lisa helped me discover that I was ready for change. I learnt that my main obstacle to success was my self-perception. Over the coming weeks Lisa guided me through various exercises to help me recognize that I could choose a different outcome.
Three weeks later I delivered the first presentation I felt proud of. Last week I presented in front of 150+ people at a national symposium and received encouraging feedback from colleagues. Two weeks from now I will be presenting in front of my entire work place.
Now, I take a breath, relax my body and consider that I can choose a different response.
Lisa is also a highly skilled and accomplished facilitator. She developed a wonderful program that allowed me to deliver a brainstorming workshop that was enjoyed by participants and allowed me to get the content I required to create a tailored project plan.
I highly recommend Lisa. She is engaging, refreshing, honest and fun…..And, I miss her laugh.
~Andra Morrison, Ottawa~
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