Last September 2022, I was attending the Expert Empires event that was run by Nick James. It was the first in-person, marketing focused conference that I had ever attended.

The speakers varied significantly in their speaking skills, some were first-timers, others were hugely experienced. And there was one lady who spoke that lifted the whole energy of the room, which had gone into that mid-afternoon slump. She had the whole room laughing and engaging.

Her name was Cheryl Chapman.

And as I watched her, I thought to myself, “I would like to be able to stand on stage like that and share my wisdom with more people”. Then I rapidly thought, “Don’t be daft Susanna, you could never do that!” Then I caught myself being negative about myself and had a strict word…. with myself.

I may not get there trying on my own, I thought, but if I got Cheryl’s support, maybe… just maybe…

At the conference she did have a table outside with her “Find Your Why” book on it. But I didn’t speak to her then. My brain wasn’t in the right space, it was too noisy and too busy. But I did add my name to her list so I could learn more.

The following week I received an email…

She was running an in-person speaker training day, it said, that was being held just 30 minutes’ drive from my home. It was on a Sunday, so I was free to attend. It felt like a sign.

So, I signed up and went along. At that event I was so inspired that I spontaneously committed to a 3 day in-person speaker training intensive in November… and the ball was rolling! I was nervous and also excited as I felt something had shifted in me, and it was my time to shine.

Those who’ve been on my list a while may remember me sharing elements of that weekend with you, especially the ice bath experience that I wasn’t expecting! Nor was my business buddy, Rachel, who’d joined me on the weekend!

My idea to Speak on Stage wasn’t so far-fetched after all.

In fact, my frameworks already had me a few steps ahead of others contemplating it.

But what I had NO IDEA how to approach was to weave in storytelling, with audience engagement that flowed naturally and had an audience focused throughout the presentation.

I had many ideas on how I could approach the keynote, and wrote at least 3 different versions along the way, all guided and edited with the expert support of Cheryl who had endless patience when I said I’d like to switch things up as they felt out of alignment.

As we got closer to the Live Event, I was practicing 2-3 times a day in my office.

Not just the words, but the movements on stage, the hand gestures and tonality too.

I arrived at the venue the night before and had a chance to stand on the stage and feel the space, imagine the audience who’d be arriving the next day.

It may not look like it on the video, but my nerves were extremely high on the day, I was running through my notecards multiple times in my head all the way up to walking on stage.

But Cheryl had also taught us tips on how to ground ourselves before we started speaking. And that really helped me.

Afterwards I was on a major high of adrenalin and had a line of people waiting to talk to me. The day flew by and before I knew it, I was driving back home.

I had done it…a dream realised!

It is so lovely to be able to share Susanna’s story with you. And if I’ve helped you with your confidence/public speaking journey at any time, please do get in touch! I love hearing how it benefits people’s lives, what they have used their newly developed skills to achieve and what a difference it has made to them and to others that they have reached with their message.

Get in touch if you would like me to feature your story on an upcoming blog!

Cheryl xx

PS – If you liked this blog and want to read more blogs surrounding female empowerment, you can find last week’s here: ‘Sharing Gifts with the World – One Voice at a Time!

“I’m on a global mission to help 10 million disheartened souls, who are at a crossroads, to STOP asking why me? And START saying why not me!”

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