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When I first set up the Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT) in 2007, I fully understood the responsibilities I was taking on. I knew it was a long-term and life-changing commitment. What I couldn’t anticipate, however, was the public life that would come along with it.
Recently I was offered the chance to speak at Tedx Sydney. Being invited to give a talk on the TED stage was both one of the most exciting and the most terrifying moments of my life. As a TED super-fan the opportunity to give a talk myself is one of the greatest honours I can think of. It’s an amazing platform to hopefully raise some much needed awareness about the global ‘orphanage’ crisis.
But there was one big problem standing in my way — a mortal fear of public speaking. It’s fair to say that I was possibly more scared of public speaking in front of the nearly 5000-strong crowd at the Sydney Opera House than I was of death itself.
But that’s all changed now.
I can hardly believe it would be possible for me to ever utter those words…
How did it happen?
Thanks to the incredibly generous support of NIDA Corporate who have sponsored me with one-on-one training (aka public-speaking boot camp), I have overcome many of my fears around public speaking. My coach, Antony Grgas, is now my personal guru. He has transformed the innately terrifying into something I’m looking forward to, and perhaps even enjoy. We focussed on applying physical, vocal and imaginative exercises, which helped to build my confidence and present without being distracted by nerves.
To anyone who is looking to improve their presenting skills, or overcome a fear of public speaking, I simply cannot recommend NIDA Corporate highly enough. The training I have completed so far has been truly life-changing.
I have more training ahead in April and May and will be blogging more about my experiences on the ‘road to TED’. If you’re interested in finding out more about my experience at NIDA Corporate, sign up to CCT’s newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and twitter to follow my journey.
– Tara Winkler
Read Tara’s second ‘Road to Tedx’ blog entry here.