Friday, May 25, 2007

Getting Over Stage Fright

May 24, 2007, Hotel Sofitel, Manila
Wrote this during the 38th National Marketing Conference
Seated at the speakers couch

I think I just managed to get over stage fright. I did the unthinkable today. Something I never, ever imagined I’d put myself into. Never in my wildest dreams.

Funny, I have photos in this pose in all of my speaking engagements. LOL.

A lot of people wouldn’t believe this, and a friend of mine was simply shocked when I told him. I have stage fright. I quit taking piano lessons when I was a kid because I hated doing recitals. I always volunteered to do papers in school reports just so I wouldn’t have to present in class. I always got bulol and froze up during presentations. I got through grad school where you have to make many, many presentations, but I never got over it. The last statement I got from my defense panel chair in grad school said, “Iha, you are ready for the world, but you have to get over your shyness.”

The audience, about a thousand marketers.

Me shy? A lot of my friends would laugh off this statement. They’d tell you I’m definitely NOT shy. I am, especially when it comes to doing presentations and crowds. Notice how quiet I get when I’m speaking to more than 2 people. Unbelievable, but true.

Today I spoke to an audience of a thousand marketers. I was driving the stage manager crazy backstage because I was already hyperventilating. Can I just cry a bit now? LOL.

As I said, never in my wildest dreams.

So what did the trick? I prayed. It’s my job, but I’d like to say that to me it’s not just another job. My work is one of my many passions and nothing, not even stage fright should be an obstacle to meeting my goals. And, I prayed again.

Warm fuzzy feeling.