I gave some really good advice today, guys. I told a co-worker that the best way to rid yourself of a fear of public speaking is to do something horribly mortifying just before you’re set to speak. That way, public speaking is a breeze!
Years ago, I got a job working at a furniture store. It was mundane office work which has always been my jam, so I was pumped. I still remember what I was wearing on that first day (my brownish/gray wide-legged dress pants and a V-neck pink shirt with 3/4 sleeves. Hot.), and even how I styled my hair (make-do French twist with a butterfly clip, of course).
Early in the day, before I’d met anyone but the office staff, I was leaning backwards in my chair to say something to a co-worker across the office… when suddenly, my chair tipped back just a bit too far. You know the feeling: ice in your veins, heart skips a beat, death is imminent. Life flashing before my eyes, in typical Kat fashion, I completely spaz out – pinwheel my arms, kick up my feet, half scream. Looking back on this 10+ years later, I firmly believe that if I were a more graceful kind of person, I would’ve recovered and the office staff would have had a nice, quiet, office-appropriate chuckle. However, my middle name is Michelle and not Grace, so my spasticity was my demise and caused my entire chair not just to flip over backwards/sideways… no, but also put so much inertia behind the chair that when it fell, it ejected me. I rolled and rolled until the top third of my body was in the adjacent break room.
Did I mention there was a morning sales meeting going on in the adjacent break room? So the adjacent break room was full of salespeople I had yet to meet. Oh, I didn’t mention it? Well, there was a morning sales meeting going on in the adjacent break room, so the adjacent break room was full of salespeople I had yet to meet. The woman (whose name I can’t even remember now) running the meeting giggled once but everyone else stared at me in complete stunned silence.
I picked myself up, looked at them, and said the only thing running through my mind.
“Hi. I’m the new girl.”
From that day forward, nothing about that job ever stressed me out. An angry customer? Please. I flipped my chair over on my first day. Snobby co-worker? C’mon. The first thing a dozen salespeople saw of me was the top of my head as it came barreling through the break room doorway.
So, you see, this was advice I gave was very sincere and I meant every word of it.