My heart is beating faster than usual; other people are talking about things I want to hear, but I’m not listening to them. I’m totally focused on what I need to say, and saying it right. Just as I’ve got it perfectly worked out – what to say and how to say it – the moment is gone. ‘Okay, thanks for all your ideas and questions. Let’s move on….’
I have always been a shy person. Hiding behind something is often preferable to talking to a group of strangers, and public speaking is a nightmare. Over the years I’ve got much better thanks to job interviews, university presentations and going to quite a lot of weddings, but I still find being shy a challenge. Since I’ve been involved in campaigning on extreme poverty, it’s become more of an issue.
How do you network with like-minded people when you’d much rather just melt into the crowd?
How can you speak up about poverty, when you find it hard to speak up at all?
Here’s my advice to other potential campaigners who suffer from shyness or feel awkward talking in large groups.