The Inner Workings of the Public Speaker

Public Speaking

photo credit: toprankonlinemarketing via photopin cc


A couple of weeks ago I was invited to do a keynote at the Public Speakers Association. Yay!

One of the strategies I committed to doing more of this year was public speaking. Sure I’ve done it before – but not nearly as much as I wanted to.

But I must confess. It’s never easy. As pumped up as I was about doing it, there was a part of me that was scared shitless.

Some things never change … 

Let me share with you the real deal. What really goes on every time I step onto that stage.

The Inner Workings of the Public Speaker

As she stood in front of the room and began to introduce me, all I could hear were snippets of words coming from her mouth. Words such as ‘… needs no introduction,” “awesome marketer” and “Michele Welch’ was about all I could hear.

Seemed like a great intro. Wish I had paid attention …

My heart was thumping so loud , I swore they could hear it. I slowly took a few deep breaths. Maybe they wouldn’t notice the drastic rising and falling of my chest… or the sweat starting to form on my forehead… or my now flushed cheeks.

“Just remember the opening Michele,” I told myself. “You got this.” “You’re awesome.”  “You know your shit.”

I’ve learned  the art of pumping myself up. It usually worked. I’ve always managed to get through it.

The first few minutes is always the hardest.  Inside my head an on going battle between remembering what I needed to say and my inner voice begging, “Oh please don’t forget your spiel!”

This is not how I practiced it.

What was that all too important point I wanted to make in the beginning??

But then something cool began to happen. As I continued to look at all those in front of me; feeling their desire for me to do well, there was a shift.

I began to relax. I  actually began to hear my voice over my pounding heart and the inner voices chatting in my head.

I could see that they were ‘getting me.’  Heads were nodding. Smiles were apparent. They were engaging with me.

I stopped worrying about what was next. I began to have faith in what I already knew… knowing that I would be able to recall all that I needed when I needed it.

I was getting into the groove. With each passing moment, my confidence grew. At one point, I had forgotten all about me and it just became about giving huge value.

And the more they engaged with me the hungrier I became for it. I can see why speakers can get addicted to this shit.

You’re being heard. You’re helping. There’s expansion going on.

Yeah, I can definitely do this more often!

As I begin to come to a close there’s a moment of relief and sadness at the same time. How can both exist together?

Relief that I braved it through and I survived (Oh, the drama!). Sadness that it had come to an end. I had so much more to share. It felt good to give.

I shared something of value. Something that was important to me. Something I felt would make a difference for them.

Stories. Strategies. Insights.

All tied in together in one big bundle. A gift to those who have given me their time and attention.

Gratitude. Joy. Hope.

My work is done for now. Until the next time. I look forward to that next step. The promise of a wonderful, exciting journey ahead.


  1. Same thing happens to me when I have not spoken in public for a while. If I give a lot of speaehes , I get used to it and it becomes as normal as having breakfast:-)

    Noticed your post on Twitter and because I’m giving a speech on Tuesday, I read it.


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