Shonda Rhimes is the creator of award-winning TV shows, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Like many introverts, her safe space was sitting in her office writing. She turned down most speaking engagements and when she couldn’t get out of it …
“I was a walking panic attack. My stage fright was so complete and overwhelming that it ruled my every public appearance.”
Then she made a commitment to say “Yes” to every speaking opportunity. This culminated in her being asked to give the Commencement Address at Dartmouth University. Here’s what she says:
“And for the first time in my life, I stand on a stage and raise my voice to the public with full confidence and not an inch of panic. For the first time in my life, I speak to an audience as myself and feel joy.”
Susan Cain is the author of the best selling book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World which can’t Stop Talking.”
In the book she recalls the night before her first big speech:
“It’s 2.00am, I can’t sleep, and I want to die…What if my mouth dries up and I can’t get any words out? What if I bore the audience? What if I throw up on stage?”
Susan took part in a face to face class involving desensitization. Here’s what she says now:
“Since then I’ve done plenty of speaking, to groups of tens and crowds of hundreds. I’ve come to embrace the power of the podium.”
I share these stories for two reasons:
1. To show you that it is possible to get over extreme stage fright and become a powerful speaker.
2. That the path to overcoming fear is being in action.
I am creating a small-group program called Journey to Confidence to help you be in action too.
Journey to Confidence is for people who identify as introvert and are fed up with being held back by fear when they want to speak up or speak to a group.
Journey to Confidence will have you in action, taking small, but consistent steps. You’ll have a clear path to follow and be supported by me and your fellow members.
There will be a cost to join Journey to Confidence. This is so that you’ve made a financial commitment – that you have some “skin in the game”, and also because this is the way that I make my living.
At the same time, I want it to be affordable. So I’m going to experiment with a sliding scale of payment. This means that what you pay is related to what you can afford.
Here’s my current thinking on the suggested tiers based on your household income level:
- US$70,000+: US$500
- US$60,000 – 69,999: $400
- US$50,000- 59,999: $300
- US$40,000 – 49,999: $200
- US$20,000 – 39,999: $100
- US$0 – 19,999: $30 (this is the per person cost of the software that I’ll be using to run the program)
- US$0 – 19,999 + developing country: US$10
What you pay is up to you – I’m not going to ask you to prove it!
Hopefully, you’ll also be able to choose the amount you want to pay (this will depend on whether I can get my checkout software to do this). That means that those of you who want to pay more to support those who can pay less, can do so.
My vision with this program is to help people overcome the fear of public speaking so that they can apply for the jobs and promotions they want, go after leadership opportunities, promote their business with speaking, and share their ideas so they can make an impact in the world.
I’ve now launched the first run of Journey to Confidence. You can find out more about the program and sign up to be on the waitlist for the next program at this page.