Have you ever turned beet red, almost fainted, felt nauseous, or had heart palpitations at the thought of public speaking, or even of presenting information to a few co-workers? Does sharing something with more than two people scare you? What about 20? Or 100? Are you getting clammy even reading about it? That was me!

One of the things I have learned over the last five years is the importance of mentors. I have found and worked with incredible mentors. Some have been in my profession and some have helped me in other ways. Let me tell you about Pam.

I met Pam Chambers about 15 years ago when I took her Level 1 public speaking class. Pam has coached TEDx presenters (as you know I am a huge TED talk fan), and pretty much anyone here in Hawaii who has had success in front of an audience. At the time I was a professional artist (susanszabo.com) doing art shows, and I was TERRIFIED of speaking in front of people. Just showing up to Pam’s first class was terrifying. Even READING about the first class made me queasy! But Pam made it fun to learn how to share what was in my heart about what I was painting. The more I did it, the easier it got. I had to refocus … it wasn’t about ME … it was about THEM!

Fast forward several years. In our new business, I went from speaking in front of a few people to hundreds … not so easy. So back I went to Pam. I took all of her classes and learned so much more! Pam helped me to become better at sounding like ME … not her … or anyone else. I worked toward having what I say match how I feel in my heart!

You will gain an incredible amount of confidence when you have someone give honest feedback about the little things you can tweak, so people can hear you clearly. I was not a natural public speaker (and I do hope to improve my skills even more), but I am good at letting people know that I care and that I am passionate about making a difference in people’s lives. Find someone who will give you honest feedback.

Of course, as Tony Robbins says, “repetition is the mother of skill”.

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