Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Lea Alcantara
Apr 9, 2013 · 5 min read
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Photo credit: Nate Croft

No Other Choice

Some choices come naturally to us, like my choices above. A lot of this is due to the sum of our experiences. Becoming a web designer and choosing to speak at tech events is synchronous to me. However, it’s not just because of who I am — it’s because there’s a purpose to all this madness.

Choose Your Topic

Now that you’re feeling compelled to speak, the next hurdle is what to talk about. I feel that we take our knowledge for granted because we compare it to that of our heroes, to whom we aspire. So how do we know what nugget of information, technique, opinion, or story would resonate? Guy Kawasaki said that “brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself” (source). The experiences we have with our family and friends, colleagues, clients, employers, and peers all add up to what people perceive are your strengths.

Choose to be Brave

I’m not naturally shy. I don’t suffer from stage fright as badly as others: I’ve been in choir and drama throughout my youth. I even emceed a school event in front of hundreds, at the tender age of fourteen. I’m used to being on stage.

The Illusion of Control

In the end, you do have a choice not to speak. While there are a myriad of reasons why you would turn down an opportunity, I think that perhaps the biggest reason is, while you’re on stage, you no longer have complete control. The number and types of people who attend, the level of audience participation and their motivation for being there, the success of audio or tech equipment, and your state of health are all out of your control.

Ladies in Tech

Articles, resources, and notes on public speaking

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