In a recent post, I wrote about a speaker at an event I attended who sang "Over the Rainbow" and completely took the audience by surprise.
I loved her chutzpah and her willingness to try something different to get our attention, even though she is not comfortable singing in front of an audience. She inspired me to include singing in one of my presentations.
I didn't know how it would happen, and I didn't want to plan anything for fear of being too nervous to pull it off.
So this past weekend I took a baby step. At the conclusion of one of the group exercises, I discovered that several people in the room didn't know the song "Auld Lang Syne." If you don't know it either, it's the song many of us sing at midnight on New Year's Eve.
So I sang a line of it to jog their memory. Okay, it was only a line. It was no "Over the Rainbow." But I was pleased with myself that I said I was going to sing during a presentation and I did. And because it wasn't planned, I didn't have time to get nervous about it.
The irony here is that I used to sing in front of people all the time. I sang in choirs, I sang solo in musicals, I sang in a quartet, a trio and a duo, and basically performed whenever I got the chance.
As I got older and got out of the habit, I became more self-conscious about singing in front of people. I won't even do karaoke. I'm no Celine Dion, but I can carry a tune and the dogs won't start howling.
So how exactly does this insidious thing happen to us over time, this discomfort with exposing ourselves and fear of taking a risk? Especially around things that we used to do with complete confidence?
I don't know, but I don't want to let it control me. So I'm going to try it again. I'm going to find another way to incorporate singing into a presentation. Because it's a challenge for me, because it's unexpected for the audience, and because it adds an element of fun and spontaneity to a presentation.
What have you done lately to stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone?
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