My Public Speaking Horror Story

Originally posted in The Atlanta 100

After my latest keynote to a Fortune 500, a male executive ran up and kissed me on the cheek. My speaking career did not start nearly this well.

Vanderbilt University, 2012. I’m nominated to compete in a sorority’s “Alpha Male” competition and to somehow dazzle 200 women. Other guys play acoustic guitar or twerk shirtless to showcase their abs. Fueled by the misplaced confidence of youth, I tell five minutes of jokes. I bomb, eliminating 200 beautiful, confused faces from my potential dating pool.

Have a fear of speaking? Know that even professional speakers have completely tanked along the way.

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