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My Stage Hiccups Unveiled: Embracing Vulnerability on the Path to Success



In my previous blog post, I promised to get real and share my own stage mishaps, and here it is: a moment caught on camera: yes, that's me falling on stage! Like artists who sometimes stumble, I too have my moments. And you know what? It's okay to laugh about it and own up to our mistakes.

 

Self-deprecation is crucial in these situations. Otherwise, the urge to retreat and hide can be overwhelming, making the experience dreadful for both you and your audience. In that infamous moment when I fell, I chose to laugh along, and the audience laughed with me. It broke the tension, turning a potential disaster into a memorable part of the show.

 

But that wasn't the only glitch that day. The event was being recorded, and suddenly, all microphones - mine included - stopped working. The sound engineer informed me that we couldn't continue until the mics were back on. With a hundred pairs of eyes fixed on me, I had a choice: cry or turn it into a spectacle. So, I opted for entertainment. I threw a spontaneous quiz about the upcoming Paris Olympic Games - did you know they're expected to serve 13 million meals in those four weeks? The guessing game bought us time, and eventually, the mics crackled back to life.

 

In moments like these, time stretches out, but my mission remains clear: let the audience enjoy and remember the conference. Hiccups, when handled gracefully, make the event even more special. They humanize me, showing that I'm not infallible but relatable.

 

Seizing Opportunity: How I Conquered My First FT {Financial Times} Presentation with Confidence

 

Reflecting on my early days, I vividly remember my first major presentation at the Financial Times. I was tasked with presenting data on FDI trends in Europe to a high-profile audience of economic development professionals including ministers and mayors. A day before the event, I discovered that the data had dramatically changed due to an update I hadn't anticipated. Panic ensued - I felt ill-prepared to represent such a prestigious brand.

 

Taking a deep breath, I revamped my entire presentation, rehearsing tirelessly until I felt confident. On the day of the event, I embodied "calm and collected." I literally told myself to be calm and collected a hundred times until my body and mind thought exactly that. The feedback? Overwhelmingly positive. This experience taught me that despite life's hiccups, with dedication and practice, success is attainable.

 

From UN Stage Fright to Career Milestone

 

Have you ever experienced that heart-stopping moment when reality surpasses all expectations? Well, I certainly have. Let me take you back to a pivotal day in my career - a day I was set to present at the United Nations on the transformative role of data in economic development.

 

In the lead-up to the event, I diligently prepared my presentation, fueled by the assurance that I would be addressing around a hundred individuals. This number seemed manageable, allowing me to tailor my content and delivery accordingly. Little did I know what awaited me.

 

As the event day dawned, I was ushered into the conference room - a vast space teeming with over a thousand attendees. 1,000! Government officials from across the globe filled the seats, evoking scenes reminiscent of televised UN conferences. It was an overwhelming sight. My initial reaction was a mixture of awe and panic. How could I possibly engage such a massive audience effectively?

 

In that critical moment, I recalled a piece of advice from my father that resonated deeply: "Whether you present to one person, ten, or a thousand, the essence remains the same—your message must possess the power to resonate with and impact your audience."

 

With those words echoing in my mind, I gathered my composure and stepped onto the stage. Despite the sea of faces before me, I anchored myself in the belief that the significance of my message transcended the numbers. The principles and insights I was about to share were crucial, regardless of the scale of the audience.

 

Confident in my preparation and driven by a sense of purpose, I launched into my presentation. I poured my passion into every word, striving to connect with each individual in that vast assembly. The nerves dissipated as I immersed myself in the content I knew so well.

 

Looking back, that day stands as one of my proudest moments - a turning point that propelled me forward on the trajectory I continue to pursue today. It marked the genesis of my journey into the realm of public speaking and advocacy for elevating events globally.

 

The lesson learned was profound: the magnitude of the audience should never overshadow the significance of your message. Whether speaking to one or to a multitude, authenticity, clarity, and conviction are the pillars that bridge the gap and make an impact.

 

In retrospect, I am grateful for that unexpected challenge - it taught me resilience, adaptability, and the profound truth that our message, when delivered earnestly and passionately, can transcend boundaries and resonate with audiences of any size.

 

So, to anyone facing a daunting presentation or a seemingly insurmountable challenge, remember this: the power of your message lies not in the numbers, but in its authenticity and relevance. Embrace each opportunity as a chance to make a meaningful impact, regardless of the scale. After all, every great journey begins with a single step—and sometimes, that step leads you onto a stage before a thousand faces at the United Nations.

 

Being a host or presenter isn't easy; it's a vocation requiring years of practice and mental fortitude. My journey is a testament to that. I hope sharing these moments inspires you to embrace your hiccups and work towards mastering your craft alongside me. Together, we can turn every stumble into a graceful step forward.

 

Remember, the show must go on—embrace the imperfections and make them part of your story. Here's to owning our hiccups and inspiring others along the way. Let's dance through life's challenges, one stage at a time!

 

 

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