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Being Seen in London

Posted Mar 04, 2019

I attended a day workshop in London called Being Seen” at the end of February.

As someone who struggles with talking in front of groups, I felt I needed to start working on being comfortable with myself if I’m going to achieve my goal of giving a talk this year.

I don’t only suffer with stage anxieties, but also Impostor Syndrome to the point I honestly believe I don’t know anything that everyone else doesn’t already knows. Perhaps this talk could inspire me to give myself more credit and give me the confidence to take myself out of my comfort zone.

The view from the St Pancras clock tower
The view from the St Pancras clock tower

The workshop was hosted in St Pancras Station’s clock tower, so the venue itself was another motivator to make the trip to the capital.

Being Seen

This workshop was called Being Seen’ and it wasn’t just about getting over a little stage fright. It was also to let go of having of a script or presentation to rely on and to really be in the moment and engage with your audience.

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
- Maya Angelou

With only six participants, it was a good sized group with a range of experience of being in front of others.

Silence is golden

The day started with each participant standing in front of the group for one minute in complete silence with the simple instruction of making eye contact with the audience. The aim of this is to get comfortable in the silence.

I instantly learned that there is a worse thing than speaking in front of people, and that’s not speaking in front of people.

The day grew from one minute silences, to two minutes then we were to simply say our name.

The talk I’m hoping to give, will begin with an introduction, so I felt this was good practice to say my own name, which most people in my industry never really have to do whilst sat in front of a computer.

From saying our name, the length of time grew from two minutes up to spending seven minutes on our own in front of the group. By this point, we were free to speak about anything we felt comfortable saying.

The only instructions were:

  • to keep eye contact with individual members of the group to avoid scanning’ the room. Ensuring individual connections connections were made with each member of the audience
  • to not give a show’ or hide behind a performance
  • to stay at the front after your time and be comfortable soaking up praise

I felt this very useful to get used to the experience of standing in front of people with a welcome, introducing myself, saying what I need to say whilst engaging with my audience and being applauded (hopefully!) tat the end. 

🏆 Let’s try and win something

Further to working towards my goal of giving a talk, I have nominated myself for a Creative Bath Award.

Another aim of mine this year is to win an award for the work I’m doing so I thought I had better start putting myself out there for some!

This is the first time I’m submitting anything of mine for an award, so I thought an award in my beautiful and creative city of Bath to celebrate my first six months of being my own boss would be a great place to start.

Wish me luck…