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NOW IS THE TIME TO STEP INTO THE SPOTLIGHT
Many of us have a tendency to shy away from the spotlight. It might be that we have blocks around standing in our power and putting ourselves forward as experts. Often we would prefer to quietly work in the background and let others be the ones to step forward.
Why? Because it can be scary, overwhelming and downright uncomfortable, to put yourself forward and tell the world, “I’m an expert.”
This is the exact feeling I had a few years ago when I was asked to present to 100 people on how to use PR and social media. On the night of the presentation as the room started filling with people, all looking to me to teach them about PR and social media, I had a choice, do I run or do I stay?
I walked up the stairs, microphone in hand, willing my hands not to shake. I looked out into the crowd, took a breath and began to speak. In that moment I realised I deserved to be in the spotlight and I wanted to these people to hear what I had to say as it could really help them and their businesses.
So instead of asking myself, “Who was I to stand in the spotlight?” I asked, “Who am I not to stand in the spotlight? Who am I not to share expert information? Who am I not to have a voice?”
This was the start of my journey from unknown to well-recognised and highly regarded expert and thought leader. I now get asked to present at international conferences, I have received millions of dollars’ worth of media coverage and have an award winning blog, all which helps to fuel my business.
Here’s my advice for anyone who wants to step up and have their time in the spotlight.
Explore your motivation
Ask yourself why you want to be considered an expert or thought leader. If your motivation is purely to get sales then your audience will quickly see this and won’t respond positively to you. The biggest thing you need to realise is that promoting yourself isn’t actually about you, it’s about the people you want to influence. To really be seen as an expert you have to share something of value whether this is your IP, time or expertise.
Stand in your power
Don’t let those self-limiting beliefs stand your way. You know the ones: Do I know enough? Do I know more than the next person? Am I really an expert? Believe in yourself, your knowledge and your hard-won experience. See yourself truly as an expert and be prepared to tell people that’s what you are.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. For instance, don’t let inexperience be your excuse for not putting yourself forward for speaking opportunities. Instead enlist the help of a presentations coach to develop your skills.
Many of us do this every day in our working life. We would never dream of designing a website if this wasn’t our core skill, we’d outsource it. Give yourself permission to do the same and seek help from others.
Standing in the spotlight doesn’t have to be a scary experience; it can actually be motivating, enlivening and lots of fun. It can also have a powerful impact on your business, your career and also your personal life.
The truth is, you have knowledge in your particular field that others don’t, and you can capitalise on this by offering your expert knowledge and opinion to others. The more that you accept you are an expert, the more everyone else will accept it to.
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About Catriona Pollard
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. www.UnknownToExpert.com
Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business.