This post is about the lesson I learned at the weekend of Bliss, all be it the hard way, about self promotion and confidence.
I shared a bit the other day about the fact that self confidence in promoting myself is by far my weakest attribute. (Maybe it comes from 2.5 decades of being a Mom, the woman behind the scenes?) I can brag on someone else's talents without hesitation. During the week at my grown up job I can promote the community that I live in to prospective companies looking to relocate with ease and enthusiasm. I am completely comfortable in front of a crowd teaching things like gift wrap techniques. Selling myself to you so you'll attend that gift wrap class,uh.. notsomuch. I freeze up. I imagine me doing my pitch and having the other person stare back at me and then do a complete double counter clockwise eye-roll like I am nuts.
Yes, I did get to meet and mingle with the Victoria editors,turn in my basic "Press Kit" promo pack, and yes, I feel like I made enough face time to hopefully be remembered, but I could have, should have done more. Of course now I know what I should have done. *sigh* Hind sight is always 20/20 as they say.
All the way home on the plane,and every moment since we left Sunday afternoon, I replayed it in my mind. Last Tuesday, I decided to stop thinking about it and act. I am going to overcome this...thing. I decided, right then and there, to put into action these words to live by.
So, at about 10:30 Tuesday morning I googled Toastmasters from my desk at my grown up job. For those of you who may not be familiar with this organization, they help people feel confident speaking in public, and in doing basic elevator pitches and coming off smooth as silk. Sounded like it was made for people just like me. (For gosh sakes, they're called Toastmasters International. That means there are people like me all over the world!)
There was a club in my area! The meeting was Tuesday at lunchtime! (how "meant to be" is that?!) No time like the present. Before you could say " Why are you sitting there like you've just had a lobotomy?" I was in my car, on my way to the lunch time meeting.
I entered the room where the meeting was to be held and took a seat. I listened. They have a study guide with lessons, and you do different types of things as you progress through the book. Some folks were scheduled to give seven to ten minute stand up speeches (good golly Miss Molly, that must feel like an eternity when you're the one speaking) on topics of their choice (like why you ought to take a look at my Blog and my promo packet and let me share ideas in your magazine...) Several folks had to give spur of the moment 2 minute speeches on topics they throw out at you. Things like a talk about a single rose or the Olympics. (Yikes!!! The idea is apparently to get you comfortable speaking to anyone on any subject without stammering around like an imbecile.) The people doing the speeches were then critiqued, in a nice-ish, positive fashion. All the "um's" and "uh"s" were counted. Someone wins a ribbon for scoring the highest with the entire group. (OK, that part seemed a little cheesy but I bet if it were me speaking I'd want that ribbon. Bad.)
It was all scary as heck,if you ask me.
*sigh* I'm going back next Tuesday.