Public Speaking and the Attitude of Fearlessness

That particular feedback from the elderly gentleman from Malaysia was extreme­ly honest and in many ways it opened my eyes in regards to the importance and advan­tages of effective public
22 Sep 2018 11:00
Public Speaking and the Attitude of Fearlessness
Mayur Kalbag

That particular feedback from the elderly gentleman from Malaysia was extreme­ly honest and in many ways it opened my eyes in regards to the importance and advan­tages of effective public speaking.

I was keen to learn and transform myself but the question was how.

There had to be some way and my prayers were answered in the form of an opportunity.

One of my friends happened to read about this special seminar and forwarded their brochure to me and guess what, the topic was?

It was developing public speaking skills.

It was a two-day programme and the per-par­ticipant fee was, at least to me, on the higher side.

To add to this the seminar was going to hap­pen in another town which was a three-hour drive from where I lived.

Should I go? Will I get the leave from office to attend the seminar? Are the fees a bit too high? All such questions and doubts began to arise in my mind.

But my final decision was that, come what may, I will go and attend this seminar.

“This is an opportunity to bring a very posi­tive transformation within myself and hence I will surely not this opportunity go away,” I af­firmed to myself.

To my surprise, my immediate superior seemed to have seen my sincere keenness and gave me his consent too.

I arrived on the day of the seminar and walked in the conference room with most of the partic­ipants already there.

The Trainer too was present and had just started the seminar.

He saw me and requested me to join him at the podium.

I knew I was a bit late but least expected him to call me towards him and face the audience.


“What is your name, sir?” the trainer asked. “Mayur,” I nervously mumbled to him.

“Can you speak a bit more softly so that I don’t get to hear your name at all,” he said to me with a mischievous smile.

“Hey buddy, you being a bit late to the semi­nar doesn’t mean that you lose your self– con­fidence.

“We all have reached our destinations late but that should not make you feel fearful and nerv­ous.

“Just be yourself, look at the audience and tell them your name and also where you work.”

All this was too sudden to me but I had no choice.

I turned towards the audience and realised there were more than fifty participants seated there and looking at me. Some were smiling and most were looking too serious.

“Go ahead and introduce yourself,” the train­er said to me.

I realised that there was no escape for me and I began ‘introduction’.

I remembered, at that time, what the elderly Malaysian gentleman had said to me.

“The audience is not a group of starving lions waiting to pounce upon you, so don’t every get scared of them.”

His words made me realise that I had no rea­son to feel any kind of fear.

I took a deep breath and uttered my full name aloud.

Highly confident

I then went on to share more information about myself.

At the end of the introduction I felt awesome.

Neither was there nervousness nor a speck of fear within me.

I felt highly confident.

“Well, Mr Mayur, I need to tell you and all the other participants something very important,” the trainer said.

“Always remember, the best way to fight fear is to face it.

“From today onwards, each one of you will have to spend ten minutes every day in the prac­tice of public speaking.

“At first you will be choosing a topic of your choice, standing in front of a mirror and then you will have to make a speech looking at your­self in that mirror.

“I also recommend that you ask your close friend, relative or colleague to click video of your speech and then show it to you for you to know where you could improve further.

“I can assure you, within just fifteen days of doing this practice sincerely you will see your nervousness and fear fading away steadily.

“Simultaneously, you will begin to experience tremendous amount of self-confidence and fearlessness.”

Positive, courageous and self-confident

The seminar had just started and to my sur­prise I had already learnt how to become posi­tive, courageous and self-confident.

That day, we all learnt about some other im­portant aspects of public speaking namely body language,

Verbal modulations and the power of Eye Con­tact.

We were also made to understand the concept of planning, preparing, practicing, performing and post-presentation analysis.

The trainer called it the five Ps of effective public speaking.

On the second day of the seminar the trainer made each one of us to plan, prepare and then deliver a presentation to the audience.

Buzz of the bees

What was more impacting and beneficial was the honest feedback he shared with each one of us after our respective presentations about the areas we were good at and those which we were bad at.

The trainer even taught us some deep breath­ing techniques and the ‘buzz of the bees’ a deep Sound

Vibration and told us about how these tech­niques could help us calm our ‘nerves’ and com­pose our ‘mind’.

Along with this the trainer reiterated a beauti­ful philosophy which was that it is not our apti­tude but our Attitude which will finally decide our ‘altitude’ to success.

The seminar was one of the best I had attended as it was more interactive, inspiring, and inno­vative and the techniques and learnings were extremely practical and implementable to me.

Surprise call

Three months had passed by and one day, while I was in my office I received a call on my cell phone.

It was an international number.

“Am I speaking to Mayur Kalbag?” the caller said.

“Yes sir, but could I know whom am I speaking to?” I responded.

“Well, if you are the same Mayur, then just re­member, I have arrived in your city from Malay­sia and I will see you tomorrow at your office,” the calle said.

“Oh yes sir, I have been awaiting your call and especially your visit and guess what Sir…I am ready for that presentation.”


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