After my conference talk, I was asked: “How have you mastered the skill? You looked so natural, walked smoothly, talked calmly and soft, but confident. Probably, it is just talent”
I answered: “I just didn’t give up”.
- Two days before the conference I caught a cold 🤧, had a sore throat and partly lost my voice. I’ve got all the treatment I could 💊.
- One day before the conference I had a sore throat, it was painful to talk, I had a terrible cough. I could have a cough non-stop for 10-15-20 minutes. I have received a Women in Product Europe honor in the Google office but had to leave a room for about 1000 time due to cough. I was terrified. I waited for this conference and my speech all the year, I couldn’t screw it up.
- The night before the conference I had a high temperature. In the morning I barely could get myself from the bed. Cancel the talk? I didn’t want to let down the conference organizers. The organizers were great, the conference was great, I wanted to be a part of it so badly.
I set a plan to prepare myself for the talk (day time). I didn’t plan to register in the morning or attend the morning talks. I drunk tons of water and warm tea. I calculated how I can make myself talk without a cough for 30 min. The goal was not to start cough, because it would be starting a 15-min cough non-stop and ruin all the talk.🎤 I walked smoothly and talked softly not because I’m a natural speaker, but not to lose my voice and not to start a cough. This is the ugly truth about how I mastered my skill.
So, next time when you think something is a natural skill and you can never achieve it, remember this story and start to master the skill. Everything is possible if you don’t give up.