Monday, October 15, 2012

public speaking

Skirt- Old Navy; Blazer- Swapped; Red Top- United Colours of Benetton; Shoes- Urban Outfitters; Bracelet- The Bay; Nail Polish- Cherries in the Snow (red nail) by Revlon & Ah-Ha Moment (white tip) by Sephora by OPI
I hate public speaking. My hands get shaky, my face gets red, I stumble on my words and I get all sweaty.  At least that's what used to happen...

In Junior High School I was teased for being a bookworm and was so nervous to present in front of my class, I would be sick to my stomach.  My memorial poem was selected to be read aloud at a Remembrance Day ceremony in front of the entire school assembly and my voice was shaking so badly, I was sure everyone was laughing at me.  In High School and University I avoided classes that included public speaking and as a result ended up with a boring courseload and more assignments (the only presentation I gave in my four years of University was a group skit for one of my counselling classes). 

My current job requires me to present Dress for Success Ottawa services to potential referral agencies, community partners and volunteers.  In the past 10 months, I have given more presentations than in my academic career combined.  For my first few presentations I regressed to my Junior High nerves but over time I have relaxed and instead of memorizing every little fact, I speak from the heart with passion and confidence.  Sure my hands still shake and I stumble on the occasional word but overall I feel more in control and am conquering my fear of public speaking, one presentation at a time!

A recent intimidating presentation was at the Place d'Orleans Vlogger Search but once I got into the groove and found my stride, I had lots of fun sharing my favourite fall trends with the audience!

“According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” (Jerry Seinfield)

I wore this outfit last Thursday evening for a 30 minute presentation I gave in front of 40+ volunteers.  Although I was nervous, I received many kind words afterwards about how the evening inspired and fuelled their desire for volunteering.

Do you have a fear of public speaking?


  1. I use to have a fear about Public speaking but once I started working in retail it went away. I did a BBCA feature today and I used one of your picture in it. Hope you don't mind.

  2. I took a course in Public Speaking as part of my Communications minor in undergrad and it was one of the most valuable courses I ever did. We ONLY did presentations - probably between 8 and 10 over the course of the term, and by the end none of us were at all scared of public speaking.

  3. As a shy person, I started out with a crippling fear of public speaking. So I took speech courses and consciously tried to improve. It worked. Now I stand up in front of strangers all the time in courtrooms. BTW, I love this outfit. The belt rocks.

  4. Yes, public speaking freaks both of us out, but if you know your stuff it's much easier. This is a fab outfit! You can never go wrong with red, black, white and strieps. We gave you an award, we hope you check it out! Heather & Kayla

  5. I loved the outfit... and then I saw the shirt without the jacket and went bananas! WOWWEEE!!

  6. Fabulous combo!

    Not afraid of public speaking anymore. (I never thought I would day those words.)

  7. I think I don't have that wear but I'm also not running towards such events or possibilities. I know I can do it though. and I'm happy you got over your fear.
    by the way, that is such a classy look! screams confidence, in my opinion. I love the striped skirt and those fierce heels.

    Maikeni blogi - part of me

  8. I have to do a fair amount of public speaking (presenting papers at conferences, teaching, etc.) and in January I'll be lecturing three times a week to 60 students. And the first four or five times I did it I also got super nervous. But the fear did subside after the third or fourth time. And now I have a little trick. I wear glasses for seeing distances so when I find myself being nervous about speaking, I just talk off my glasses so I can't see more than 4 feet in front of me. The audience is just a blur and I get way more relaxed!

    Courtney ~

  9. Wow, that is impressive how you've totally conquered your fear! When I was in high school, I competed in forensics, which really helped me with public speaking. I wouldn't say I love it, but I can tolerate it.
    By the way, what a gorgeous outfit! I love that skirt and those shoes are fierce!!

  10. Congratulations Emily! Public speaking is no small feat and you should be super proud of yourself. I do public speaking in my job too and I find wearing a really killer outfit gives you a helpful little boost of confident. You look the epitome of a sassy and knowledgeable - but also approachable - professional here. This has all the elements of classics - navy, red and stripes...but manages to be so.much.more.

  11. I absolutely love this outfit, especially the shoes! Your blog is amazing and I am now following you!

    Sparkles and Shoes

  12. Emily I LOVE LOVE this outfit, that skirts looks amazing on you :-)


  13. You look FABULOUS! I love the stripes with that awesome RED. Gorgeous look! I use to be the same way. I still get little jitters but not as much. I bet you do a fabulous job. Sometimes I'm nervous within and people come up to me and say Kim you were so good! I tell them I was nervous and they said they would've NEVER known. So sometimes what we feel and think doesn't come across to others ;)

  14. emily i am in love with this outfit!!
    i don't have a fear of public speaking at all which is weird since when i was young i was painfully shy

  15. emily, i'm glad you overcame your fear. that must be as empowering as the work you do for others! :) this red, black, & white outfit is epically gorgeous. every single detail including the nails. i get nervous speaking, but not afraid. i've actually spoken at 2 different funerals.

  16. I was captain of the speech team in high no, I don't fear public speaking. Spiders are another story...

    Your nails are killer! I swear, your nails need their own blog. Your whole outfit is pretty fantastic.

  17. I have a big mouth so I don't get too nervous. I love your outfit, so beautiful on you. Sorry I have not been by much. I am trying to get caught up on everyone's blog from 2 weeks ago. I agree with Sage Grayson about your nails. Your shoes look like two different shoes. What is going on with that? I was waiting for you to say that you wore 2 different ones by mistake. Maybe the red is on the inside of the other shoe? Anyway, love your new blog header and the little tiaras at the top, so clean and perfect. I will look for you on instagram. Dawn suitcase vignettes xo

  18. You totally nailed the public speaking at the DFS event - you seemed so calm and prepared! It was very inspiring.
    Love this look!!

    Kate xo


One of my daily joys is reading the lovely comments you leave. It may take a day or two (or three, depending on how hectic life gets!) but I will stop by your slice of the blogosphere soon! xo Emily