Patrick co-founded a digital media agency and joined Speaker Express to work on his speaking impact. There might have been some nerves here and there too.
Who is Patrick?
As a child, my passion was breeding chickens; now I like to take daily cold showers and sit in frozen lakes — anyone who was on the 6-month accelerator course with me knows this well! A strange combination but these were the themes I always chose to speak about because my passion for them flows naturally. I am also an entrepreneur with big ideas who doesn’t want to be held back by my fear of public speaking.
1. What Inspired you to start speaker training or speaking?
Speaking in front of an audience was my only major fear in life. I’m very ambitious and could not see how I would progress in business—or make a meaningful impact in the world—if I couldn’t stand in front of a group of people and effectively express my ideas. The first time I delivered a prepared speech to an audience, I was incredibly nervous leading up to it! But as soon as I sat down, the feeling of nerves were replaced by a massive high; I had to do more.
2. What’s the best piece of speaking advice you have ever been given?
Get out of your comfort zone. Speaker Express is the most supportive environment you could imagine as everyone is willing each other to succeed and improve. It’s tempting to play safe and hold back but the major leaps in my progress were when I threw caution to the wind and pushed past fear to express myself more fully.
3. What do you know now, that you wish you knew when you first started?
If you haven’t already got one, create an opportunity to speak to a huge or intimidating audience at the end of your training. I didn’t do that when I started, but now I have committed to deliver a keynote speech to 500+ people and I am so much more focused. This opportunity has increased my willingness to push myself and seek out any and all opportunities to practice.
4. What was your worst experience on stage and what did you do about it?
Before I did the Speaker Express training, I went to a Toastmasters night and went up on stage to do a “table topic.” I was told about a strange situation, in which a Chinese restaurant owner opened their shop one day to find the sky light open and a man lying on the floor next to the deep fat fryer. Given this information as my prompt, I was instructed to make up a story about what happened. The tidal wave of adrenalin hit when it came time to speak, and with it washed away any chance of creative improvisational thought. I froze. After a bit of coaxing from the host, I mumbled something about an unfortunate burglar and sat down as quickly as possible. At the time I was pretty mortified, so the next time I spoke was at Speaker Express, which was a more relaxed environment with a discussion topic I had prepared!
5. Which speaker do you admire the most?
Steve Jobs for his authenticity and substance over style.