Has your experience with public speaking been as dramatic as mine? 

For years, I avoided public speaking like the plague. Why? Because I thought I was scarred for life and would never in a million years stand in front of an audience again...

Imagine this... I'm standing behind a heavy velvet curtain, in the wings of a stage. I can see a portion of the audience, which from this angle looks like a pale, washed-out sea of faces.

My hands are ice cold and shaking, sweat is running down my back, my heart is pounding, and I’m nauseous.

The lady who got me into this mess is on stage announcing my name and the poem I’m going to recite.

I's a poem I’d never heard of until a few hours before. A poem that has about 10 stanzas. A poem I had to memorize in a few short hours. A poem I have to recite in front of nearly a thousand people. And I'm 10 years old.

I’m at a Russian summer camp (“pioneer camp” as they were called back then), where you comply with whatever you are told to do, no matter how crazy and unreasonable it sounds.

The lady turns towards me and nods. It’s my cue to step into the spotlight. I take the first step. My legs are shaking so badly that I don’t even feel them anymore.

The lady walks off stage and I’m all by myself in front of a microphone, facing the abyss. My mind is racing to locate the first line of the poem. I can barely breathe. I can remember the first three words but not the rest of the first line.

My voice echoes through the microphone. I can hear it cracking. I feel like my voice is no longer mine, I can't recognize it.

Somehow, I finish the first line… and immediately realize I’ve said the wrong words. I am frantically searching my brain for the correct words. Another few seconds pass, but I can't get another word out.

I finally turn around and run back off stage, away from the audience laughing, away from the microphone, away from the breathless terror of public speaking.

I know I will never be able to go back on stage again… ever!

Fast forward three decades…

I've had a successful career in the corporate world and built several businesses using confident speaking as my fuel. I've used public speaking for leading, managing, selling, marketing, education, and entertainment. 

It didn’t happen overnight though. I had to go through years of trial and error until I was able to deconstruct public speaking anxiety and become a confident, compelling, and captivating speaker.

Getting through that fear—through all the struggles and doubts and negative self-talk—and mastering the courage to step into that spotlight (be it a meeting, a Zoom call, a podcast interview, or a presentation) is so worth it!

There’s no high like the high of stepping into the spotlight and knowing that you are about to build this amazing intimate connection with your audience. That you are able to move them, to impact them, to engage with them, and to persuade them.

Mastering public speaking, conquering fear, and showing up with genuine confidence, authority, and brilliance is an amazing skill. A skill that can literally skyrocket your career and change the trajectory of your life. 

Are you ready to experience it for yourself?

A Few Fun Facts About Me

  • Surprisingly for someone teaching public speaking, English is NOT my first language. And after living in the U.S. for 26 years, I'm still rocking my Eastern European accent.
  • I'm a massive introvert! Which most people don't suspect when they meet me or hear me speak.
  • My background is in Computer Science, and I've spent years in IT. I’m going to totally “date” myself here but I started as a software developer in the late ‘90s, back when AOL dial-up was all the rave! Within a few years, I started my first business, a web development company.
  • I used to own Nutty Scientists, which I built from scratch to the #1 Nutty Scientists franchise in the U.S. Houston kids knew me as Professor Proton… because I’m positive!
  • I studied filmmaking and screenwriting as a hobby. In 2010, I directed, filmed, and produced a short documentary "African-American Cowboy: The Forgotten Man of the West". It has since been screened at various events and festivals around the country.
  • Most of my free time is spent watching fencing. Both of my sons fence at the national level, with my older son fencing internationally as a member of the US International Travel Team (16 and under).
  • I am a fan of Elvis Presley. Yes, I already dressed both of my kids as Elvis for Halloween and named my adopted twin pups Elvis and Presley.

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