Sep 21, 2011
Mr Wang Gets On Stage
It's a highly technical topic - legal issues concerning the central clearing of OTC derivatives, as mandated by the G20 countries.
(If this topic isn't actually relevant to your career, you would probably find my presentation to be an excellent cure for insomnia).
This would be my 3rd or 4th time speaking at an industry conference. So it's not a new experience for me. In case you're wondering, no, I don't get paid for speaking. But in return for doing a one-hour talk, I get to attend the entire conference for free (the usual fee would be a few thousand dollars).
The other benefit of speaking at a conference is that it is a very good self-learning experience. You may already be an expert in a particular area. But the process of preparing your presentation will itself compel you to do more research; check your facts and deepen your own understanding. So you become an even better expert.
Occasionally, one or two colleagues of mine will also get approached to speak at a conference. They often reject the invitation. I think that part of the reason is that they have a fear (or at least some apprehension) of public speaking.
Today, I can honestly say that I have no fear of public speaking. Of course, it wasn't always that way. But over the years, I have done public speaking so many times (and in so many different contexts) that today, it is an entirely non-frightening thing for me.
I have emcee'd many events (wedding dinners, legal seminars). I have done poetry readings. I have argued cases in court. I have conducted many in-house training sessions. I performed some drama when I was in university. Oh, and I love to lead the yaaaaamm-SENG! cheering at every traditional Chinese wedding dinner.
So I have no fear of public speaking.
How to deal with nervousness about public speaking? The main thing is just to remember that the audience doesn't bite.
They aren't there to embarrass or humiliate you. They don't want you to fail. Instead they just want to learn something useful, to hear something new or interesting. They are hoping that you will be able to tickle and entertain their brain cells for an hour or so. That is all. And if you can do it with a dash of colour and style, so much the better.
So just get out there and speak. Remember - they don't bite.