If an expert is a person who is known for what they know, and you are said expert, what's causing those butterflies to come to life and make you feel uneasy at the most inopportune moment?
I'll never forget my first invitation to the stage as a professional. I don't recall it because of the venue, which was famous Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. I don't recall it because of the large audience who were eager to hear me speak. I recall the occasion because I was caught trying to sneak out of the ballpark just prior to having my name announced.
I was simply horrified and felt that I couldn't handle the situation in a professional manner, so I did the next best thing and headed for the exit.
I share that anecdote to let you know that I hear you and I feel your pain. Public speaking can be excruciating if you don't employ key skills to help you shine, to prompt listeners to lean in with interest, take notes at a furious pace or laugh on cue.
Ben Franklin was correct in...