I set myself a challenge in January to get to grips with making Instagram stories and talking to camera. I feel like it’s so important to talk to your audience and although I’m only talking to a couple hundred people it feels a really good way to engage people about what I’m about! ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’•

The last 10 years, I’ve hated doing presentations or talking to camera.

I was always super confident as a kid, took centre stay a lot and took regular drama classes often being picked for the ‘main part’.

I performed on stage as part of my alevels – I remember being nervous but aced my exams no problem performing a monologue from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

At university, I performed live and on film (let’s hope those never resurface from the archives) and then whilst working in America I sang at the staff talent show and I’m not really a singer.

I have delivered Yoga nidra as part of a yoga festival, played keyboard in a band.

Then when it came to being professional and in my ‘job’ I found I hated presentations, interviews and talking to camera and I know lots of people do but it literally knocked me physically sick!

I tried everything – putting myself out there more, using active feet and breathing techniques – nothing worked it was always just AWFUL!

As part of a professional development programme I’ve applied for, I had to film a 3 minute film talking directly to camera. This absolutely terrified me. With written applications you have ages to write, re write, distill.

I wrote myself a strategy to help get over it and try to figure out what on earth had re-wired my thinking since being such a care free drama queen as a child.

I also spent some time in meditation.

The two memories that came up in meditation were a music competition when I was around 11 where I got the fear and physically shook all the way through playing my clarinet and when it was over sat in my seat and cried. I was ULTIMATELY humiliated.

The second was when my mum and stepdad got a video camera in the early 90s – I feel like I was maybe the same age and they filmed Christmas. When we watched it back there was some sort of discussion about the size of my bum (!!) and how we all came across as weird and we never used it again!

So could it be that these memories from the past were blocking me feeling at ease in presentations now?

Turns out yes they were because the key here was the pressure I felt – the pressure I felt to be a certain way, present, compete took performing away from being something fun and into a space of me being and feeling judged.

And we hate to feel judged or compared as humans!

So here’s my strategy above exactly how I strategise on everything!

The things that really helped were;

  • Asking for advice from friends who make regular Instagram stories (thanks Bethanie)
  • Watching YouTube – everyone’s at it on there – so many vloggers and people talking to camera on there and they are effortless and natural!
  • Practising talking to camera to a time limit on Instagram stories – actually easier than I thought and the filters are so fun!
  • Wearing lipstick – it just makes me feel more alive and confident!
  • Running
  • Doing yoga
  • Writing a script then throwing it away and talking from the heart!

Have you got over any big fears or challenges this month? What did you do?