I am reminded after I do a public speaking engagement that I’m not the only one who enjoys hearing myself speak. Kidding! Like most people, I cringe at hearing my recorded voice. It never sounds like that sound should be coming out of my body.
I have a passion for speaking/presenting/facilitating and anything that aligns with education through verbal communication. I have this pipe dream of having my face on a tour bus while I promote my book, blog, and at every stop I share a message with the masses. Yes, I know the face on a tour bus is a bit much. Let me live.
Fortunately, I’ve been invited/hired to do this type of work with college students and student affairs professionals since my time in graduate school. Clearly, I want to do more and I want what I do to get better.
In my ever pressing effort to BE BRAVE I sent out a series of emails to people within my network in an effort to pursue opportunities. These emails were first steps in the revived “Invest in Krystal” plan.
Thankfully, I’ve received some positive responses. I stick to a pretty consistent email format:
1. I only inquire about opportunities that align with my personal values. I’ve narrowed down my focus and I know the areas in which I want to have the greatest influence.
2. Because I haven’t seen or spoken to some of my contacts in a while, I take a couple of sentences to reintroduce myself and remind them of how we met.
3. If we’re social media friends, I mention a life instance they posted such as congratulating them on marriage, babies, new haircuts, family vacation, or cool concerts, etc.
4. I’m very direct about why I’m emailing and the intended outcome. Phone call? Opportunities to volunteer? Informational Interview? Advice? In-person meeting? Paid opportunities?
5. Describe my passion for the role at hand.
6. List a few recent experiences in specified area.
8. Thank You!
Once they respond, I follow up immediately to get a date on the calendar or to confirm my interest.
I love public speaking but I’m certainly not perfect and don’t have this art nailed down just yet. So, while I’m sending out feelers into the world, I’m also strength training my big ‘ol mouth :).
Saturday, I’m attending a public speaking workshop led by Heidi Petak called Faithful to Speak and I’m strongly considering investing in a much costly opportunity that will occur in December. I’ve got to take advantage of opportunities to engage in development. If I’m not willing to invest in myself, who will?
I figure if I want to pursue this then there is no time like the present and as with most things, what have I got to lose? This is work but it is work I love and I’ve never walked off a platform and felt wrong or like I did something against my nature. Instead, I feel empowered, motivated, confident, and like I’ve used my gifts for a purpose. I’m also mentally exhausted but it has never felt better. It is also the moment when I feel the most vulnerable and the most authentic. No worries, I’m also a huge ball of nerves and like a hug or a big laugh to calm me down before I make my way into the spotlight. What is millions of people’s greatest fear is my biggest thrill. Rollercoaster, take a hike! I’m giving a speech!
If anything, I would encourage you to reach out and communicate with those people/organizations that you believe in that can help you achieve your dreams. What’s the worse that can happen? You won’t get a response?! Well, then you’re in the same place you are now–you’ve lost nothing. It’s hard to put yourself out there but if you never do then that dream will just be that, a far off vision –a castle in the sky without any foundation. Build the foundation! It gets harder to pursue those magical unicorns as you get more comfortable and as your life sprouts more responsibility.
I’m excited for the opportunities ahead during the remaining days of summer and Fall 2014. I’m going to keep putting myself out there and pursuing mastery as if plays hard to get with me for the rest of my life (such a tease!).
So, what do you need to put on your “Invest in [Insert Name Here]” to-do list?
– Make a list of contacts.
– Research outlets in your area.
– Set up a meeting.
– Make a phone call.
– Send an email.
– Take a class.
– Register for a workshop.
– Gather a group of your friends for feedback.
– Book studio time.
– Post a comment to a blog.
– Start that blog.
– Go to rehearsal.
– Read a book.
– Spend time at a co-working space or office to knock out some tasks.
Pull out your planner or that phone calendar gadget app thingy (I’m still a paper/pen girl) and create a plan of action.
You might be surprised what you get back from the universe. If nothing else, you are demonstrating incredible love for and belief in yourself. That’s a strong message and I applaud you for that investment.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress.