This has been the summer of panels for me!
Literally every weekend I’m participating in something. Last weekend was the Rise Empowerment Tour, I spoke yesterday at the National Urban League, and next week, I am giving a 30 minute Ted Style talk at a conference called Embrace Your Call.
Believe it or not, I used to be terrified of speaking in public, and even now, still get the jitters. The prospect of speaking to a crowd for 30 minutes would be petrifying for anyone! But instead of cowering under my covers or respectfully declining, I face my fear, and I say yes.
Other reasons to say yes:
1. You meet some amazing people.
I met Miss Diddy and Toya Wright speaking at the Ladies Who Brunch panel in Atlanta (Ming Lee and Ariane Davis were also on our panel). My most recent panel featured Prudential Senior Vice President and Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer Dorinda Walker, BET’s President of Broadcast media Sales Louis Carr, Strategic Group’s Associate Vice President Aria Wright, and BET Senior Vice President Michele Thornton.
It was a powerful group, and it’s always good to build. You never know how someone could play a pivotal role in your life or career one day down the line.
2. Practice Makes Perfect.
I won’t lie and tell you I’m the world’s greatest orator or storyteller. Usually I try to get to the point quickly and move on. But speaking requires others to become invested in your journey and background. Your message and delivery evolves with practice. And think of what Oprah does (y’all know I’m trying to get that Oprah!).
She moves crowds effortlessly.
Do you see all those people?!? Anywho. I’m sure she started somewhere. Practice makes perfect.
3. Other people in the crowd know who you are without an introduction.
The powerful people aren’t just on the stage. They’re in the crowd! You never know who is watching and who could be impressed/inspired by your story.
4. One Panel leads to many more…
Aside from my obligations this month, I’m also going to be speaking at the Revolt Music Conference in October, then hosting a fashion show in LA. Call it a snowball effect, but once you get started, you simply can’t stop…!
I know that my situation is particular, but I think in general, it’s ok to say yes to situations that might scare you. You might fear failure, but that’s ok. Even if you stumble, pick yourself up and keep going. You’ll get better with time.
Love + Light!
*For the event I wore a Zara button down, Raoul skirt, and Prada shoes.
I accessorized with Dior shades.
What do you think?
Images: Visuals by Pierre