My first time speaking was a disaster

Not everything goes to plan.

Three years ago, I completed an application to speak at a photography retreat in Rhode Island and was shocked & honored when I was picked to speak. I spent weeks prepping for the event and closer to the date my nerves were at an all time high. In fact, I sort of felt like an imposter.


Self doubt and negative self talk flooded over me - I even left the welcome party early to go back and rework my entire presentation. My presentation was on the second day of the retreat and as I was listening to other presenters I felt so unworthy of being there. I had about two hours to share my presentation and flew through what I had prepared and was left there standing twiddling my thumbs for what felt like a lifetime.

Several people loved what I had to share and others hated it. A survey landed in my inbox a few weeks after the retreat confirming the feels I had already been feeling. While the speaking event might have been a disaster - it was also a major industry milestone for me. I stretched well beyond my comfort zone. I spoke from the heart and shared my story - the struggles, the wins, the failures and no one could take that from me.

We live in a time where everyone shows their highlight reel, but so few are willing to share the bad days, the failures, and the things that didn’t go as planned. I don’t know if I will ever stand on a stage again, but if I do… I promise to bare my heart & soul once again and if it changes one life… than I did my job.

CoachingAmanda Kraft