Using personal stories as a way to connect with your audience is the super-juice to delivering an impactful speech.  This often means having the courage to be vulnerable. When I first began delivering public speeches, I had to come to grips with my vulnerabilities.   Initially I was apprehensive.  I often worried, am I sharing too much?  It was daunting, but with boldness and a commitment to grow as a confident speaker, I did it anyway.


I shared mistakes and misgivings as a four-time teenage runaway.  I shared mistakes and misgivings as an overzealous  career professional. I shared mistakes and misgivings as a daughter, a wife, and a mother.  And as I shared my vulnerabilities, I learned about me.


The experience of sharing my personal stories was a growing process, a grieving process, a cleansing process, and a relieving process.   It helped me break free from the constraints of the old me.  And as I purged the old me, I emerged into the new me, where the shadows of myself don’t scare me anymore.  I still have shadows.  I still make mistakes.  And I still have misgivings.  But going through the process of sharing my stories helped me emerge into a brand new me.


As I drank the super-juice by sharing my vulnerabilities, I learned to become comfortable with the uncomfortable aspect of public speaking.  I no longer feel daunted.  Those prior apprehensions and speech anxieties have been transformed into excited anticipation.  Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, I feel stronger, more confident, and more compelling as a confident public speaker.


In the words of Brené Brown, “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen”.  Have the courage to share your vulnerabilities. Drink the juice.