Personal Writing,  Public Speaking Blog

One down, many, many more to go

I did it. I got through my talk.

“What talk?” you ask, but likely only if you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t had access to my social media accounts.

Oh, you know, just the one I’ve been obsessing over for the past six weeks or so. The one I worked on with two coaches from Boston and Virginia for the past six months. The one that has kept me up at night and nearly brought me to my knees because of not great communication about a PowerPoint deck. The one I am viewing as the starting off point for the next chapter of my life.

“Oh, right. THAT one.”

Yup. That one. And now it’s a talk I will never again give for the first time. I’ll give other talks that have far more at stake than this talk, but I will never again be in the starting position I was in on Thursday.

I wish I could say I crushed it and left the stage triumphant to thunderous applause. I can’t say that. My live audience was a rousing crowd of two: one tasked with managing the technology of Teams, and one in charge of advancing my PowerPoint, which ended up being considerable in length despite my initial protestations. There were 230+ people online, and, this is kind of embarrassing to say, but it’s truly the only way I knew that anyone was even watching much less resonating with the content: I watched all kinds of little hearts and clapping hands float from the bottom of the screen, up and over my slides, over and over again throughout the talk. Those little emojis were no replacement for being in community with a live audience, but I appreciated them all the same.

This talk isn’t designed to leave an audience with immediate questions for me; it’s meant to invite those who hear it to root around in their interior and dig up questions they will ask themselves long after I leave the stage.

So I can’t say that I had anything other than quiet, sweet relief that it was over when I said thank you. I sat down and felt a boulder slide down my back and land softly into place at my feet. I know boulders don’t fall softly, but this one did because one of the points of the talk is that if you lift the boulders off your chest, you can stand on them to see a whole new vantage point from which to view your life. This boulder simply slipped into its position on the path I am literally building as I walk it. And so are you. You just might not know it because you haven’t thought about your fear, failures, shame and disappointment in this way.

Curious to know more? Then hire me to come speak to your business engagement or empowerment trainings, to a conference on shifting how you think about past personal or professional roadblocks, to a mindfulness seminar, to your women’s group and more. I’m up for sharing this concept because it has changed my life, and I want that for you, too. And I can’t wait to give the talk again and again.

Thanks, again, to all of you who sent well wishes before and after the talk. You weren’t there with me in person, but I definitely felt you in spirit, and that made all the difference.

Dayna Del Val is on a mission to help others (re)discover the spark they were born with through her blog and newsletter, her professional talks and the (re)Discover Your Spark retreats she leads. Dayna works with people to help them not just identify and articulate their dreams but to develop a framework to get going on the pursuit of those dreams—today, in the next few months and for the years ahead. She's at the intersection of remarkable and so, so ordinary, but she knows that pretty much everyone else is, too. She's excited to be sharing this extraordinary journey with you.


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