Riding through the nerves

Today Azimah and Aisya are away for a workshop at CIAST, Shah Alam. Azimah has been staying over at my house over the past couple of days. As always, I love having family stay over. We could spend hours talking about everything under the sun. Last night, as Azimah was preparing for her public speaking workshop today, she was telling me about how nervous she gets before a training session. She’s been teaching and training for 12 years and she still gets nervous. She always wishes the nerves would one day disappear, but unfortunately it won’t. It’s part of the process.

As we were talking about this, I was reminded of my university years when I took quite a lot of emceeing jobs – for weddings and mostly student events. I hated the nerves every single time. It came to a point where I told myself, “Okay, Amnah. I hate these nerves. I’m never going to do another emceeing gig ever again.” So I stopped. I haven’t emceed in more than 10 years.

But now that I think about it, I always enjoyed myself during and after the events. I felt a sense of accomplishment whenever an event was a success and knowing that I was a part of it. I learnt from every emcee job. I learnt how to bring more energy to the stage, that smiling was important, that I needed to tone down my “s” sound (a friend said my S’s sounded too sharp!) and so much more.

The nerves will never go away.

I’m not sharing this to say that I’ll be emceeing again (but who knows?), I’m sharing this to let you know that the nerves will never go away. You will always feel nervous when you have to do something that you normally don’t do – like speaking in public or in front of a group of people.

Even if you’re an experienced speaker, it’s likely you’ll still feel nervous. But don’t let that stop you. Keep doing it despite the fear and nervousness. And then you can look back with pride and a sense of accomplishment that you did it.

I hope this post helps you to look at any fears you have about speaking in a different light.  We’ll talk to you again soon.

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