Saturday, November 19, 2016


I told this to young Suman, all over again, today:

If you have a story
and you are dying to tell it… 
If you have a cause
and you are willing to fight for it,
nobody needs to teach you
how to speak in public…

You will sit down for hours and prepare it well,
You will stand up for hours and practice it well
And you will go up there and deliver it well…

That’s all there to it –
to the art and science of Public Speaking…

Prepare it… Practice it… and Deliver it.

Suman was my student some years ago. Her initial dream was to get into Chartered Accountancy. But, it did not take her long to realize that she wasn’t cut for the CA profession. So, after her graduation, she deiced to pursue a course in Fashion Designing, which, Suman tells me is her present calling in life…

“Is it?” I prodded Suman, “Is Fashion Designing a real calling in your life?”

Sunman said “Yes”. But, it wasn’t a resounding “YESSSS”.

A couple of days ago, Suman had called me up. “Sir, I want to meet you regarding my fear of Public Speaking,” Suman had confessed, “I have to make presentations regularly and I experience a great deal of stage fear.”

Today morning, when Suman was here to discuss her problem, I did share with her my own experience… how overwhelming it was once and how it is still… and, how, I have been dealing with it over all these years… Yes, I did give her many tips, which, I am sure, will help her to deal with her own…

But, I told Suman this, too: “Do not focus on overcoming your stage fear… Focus on achieving your dream… Fear will fall aside. The key is: your desire to become a Fashion Designer should be stronger than your stage fear... Let your dream be bigger than your fear!

So, if you have a story – a dream to achieve, a cause to live for – and if you are dying to tell this story… if you are willing to fight for your cause… yes, then, nobody needs to teach you how to speak in public…

The problem, therefore, is not the presence of stage fear… The problem is the absence of a dream… a cause… a calling… a vocation in life. Yes, when life is bereft of a story, it won’t find a voice!


Pic.: Chetna Shetty

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