As I opened my Time Hop this morning, I noticed that 2 of the posts were work related. 4 years ago, I had said “interview at 10, wish me luck”. Then, 1 year ago I wrote ” Today is the day I’ve been waiting for since I started my new job. My first training, not only is it the first that I am presenting, but I put it together on my own.”
These two posts aren’t about the same job, but they definitely are related. Without the first, I could have never done the second. I very much enjoy my current job, I am the Group Facilitator for the Starfish Early Learning Communities. Which is a nice way of saying that I train, parents and providers of young children.
When I first started this job I was extremely intimidated to train people. I was able to ease in to it a little bit at a time, co facilitating with another trainer. Starting with just introductions, then ice breakers, then half the training, so on and so forth. I was terrified about having a set topic to teach participants.
For anyone who knows me, it’s not the actual talking that is the problem. I love talking, I don’t even mind talking in front of large groups of people. It is when I am given a very specific subject matter, with a very specific length of time that I start to get nervous. Most of our trainings are 2 hours long. How in the world was I supposed to facilitate a training for 2 hours?
As I eased into the practice of public speaking, I realized when you are talking about things you know, it can be effortless. Facilitating has been a lot of fun, I don’t talk at participants for 2 hours straight. I get them involved in the conversation, ask questions and have them apply it to their every day life.
My background in early childhood has helped me with every single one of these trainings. After 12 years in childcare and 6 kids of my own, I can speak to all of these topics in a personal manner. Public speaking is far less intimidating to me when I am talking about a subject I am familiar with. I know kids, I know preschool classrooms and I have incorporated these topics into my every day life many times.
I am not sure exactly how many trainings I have facilitated in the last year, my best guess is somewhere around 75 In addition to that, I have written 4 of my own trainings. I have applied to present at conferences. Back in April I presented 2 workshops at the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Child conference in Grand Rapids. In October I am presenting at a conference in Howell, all with trainings I have prepared on my own.
I am passionate about early childhood. This is what my background is in, it is a subject matter that I am comfortable with. When you are comfortable with the topic, there is no reason you shouldn’t be confident while public speaking. Then you are speaking from the heart, instead of from index cards.