In February, I had the honor of being one of the many fantastic speakers at Tory Johnson’s Spark and Hustle conference in LA. My topic: “How to Go From Shy to Dynamic: For those of you who don’t know, I was painfully shy as a child and have gone on to become a speaker, trainer, coach and crusader for improving the quality of face to face communication.
The day I was scheduled to speak at Spark and Hustle was the longest day of the conference. It started at 8 am and I was schedule to speak at 4:45. Fabulous speaker after fabulous speaker shared, inspired and educated the audience of some 200 female entrepreneurs. I sat at one of the tables with about 6 other ladies, some participants, some speakers. We chatted, shared and learned together throughout the day. Then it was time for my presentation. I opened with music - a rousing rendition of “This Little Light of Mine.” (more about that decision in another post) I hit the stage and delivered my presentation with the type of energy that was consistent with my topic; for those 20 + minutes, I was fully committed to being dynamic! The response was terrific. At the end, I had everyone on their feet claiming their space and shouting out how wonderful they were.
But what really fascinated me (and the reason I’m writing this post), was what happened when I got back to my table. My table mates were in shock! They couldn’t believe that the person who had been sitting with them for the past 9 hours, was the same person who had taken the stage! Their reaction really made me think. First, of course, I went to the “bad” place. “Wow, do I come off as incredibly boring and insecure when I’m not on stage?” Then after I talked myself down from that ledge, I thought… “How could I have and why would I have brought that same level of dynamism to my “role” of conference participant? To me, it would have been inappropriate – not to mention thoroughly exhausting!
As a matter of fact, one of the first things I mentioned in my presentation that day was that in order to go from Shy to Dynamic, we need to learn certain skills and arm ourselves with certain tools that will make us a dynamic presence when we need to be. Once we master those tools and skills, we can choose when and where to use them. Just like not every job a carpenter tackles will require a band saw, not every situation we encounter will call for the same type of presence. In short, we don’t have to be dynamic 24/7. But good communicators like good carpenters should have the best tools at their disposal. Bottom line, it’s important to learn to be dynamic… (in your own way) but it’s just as important to know when and where to bring that dynamism out!