I Spoke At My First Travel Conference And Here’s How It Went

I crossed a major goal off of my ‘Travel Blogger Bucket-List’ in March! I spoke at my first ever travel conference. This is a goal I’ve had as a travel blogger for a very long time, but I had zero public speaking experience. I mean, it takes a ton of courage for me to even speak on video or an Instagram Live. Needless to say, your girl was NERVOUS.

I was invited to speak at Women’s Travel Fest on the topic of budget travel. While I know budget travel like the back of my hand, I still had so many worries.

“Would I sound weird or make awkward faces?”

“Would I stumble over words or freeze up?”

Most importantly, “Would I deliver my message effectively?”

Days before the conference date, the organiser offered to turn my speaking slot into a group panel instead and I was SO close to saying yes. It would relieve pressure and ultimately it would be much easier, right? Let’s just say that the impostor syndrome was REAL. I slept on the thought, then gave myself a major pep talk the next day. It sounded something like: ⁣

“You can do hard/scary things!!!” ⁣

“We embrace new experiences and challenges, This is the story of your life. You’ve been here 1000 times before.”⁣

“Done is better than perfect.” ⁣

And let me tell you, my presentation was far from perfect. In fact, there was a major delay due to technical issues. BUT, it is finished. I was able to connect with my audience IRL for the very first time and that’s something that I don’t take for granted. I accomplished one of my biggest career goals and I’m just getting started. As I gear up for future conferences, I know that my public speaking skills will improve with time and practice(Toastmasters, here I come!).

I say all of this to say that your Internet Favs deal with the same nervousness, doubt, etc. We must all overcome the first timer’s anxiety that comes with publishing our first website, youtube video, Instagram post, presentation, etc. It’s all part of the process!

This may really resonate with those of you who are trying out new ventures during the quarantine. In order to get where we want, we often must be willing to be a beginner. We must be willing to f*ck up and do the thing anyway. ⁣

Thank you to everyone who sat in for my presentation at Women’s Travel Fest. I’ll be speaking at Travelcon later this year! If Miss Rona eases up, I hope to take Toastmasters classes between now and then.

Is there anything new that you’re currently learning or working on? If so, are you having to overcome any fears or doubts associated with being a beginner?

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Hey, I'm Ciara. I’m a global citizen and lover of travel. Want to know more? 

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