Giving A Talk In A Foreign Language – To Fear Or Not To Fear?

My heart is thumping, my legs are shaking nervously. I can feel the adrenaline rushing through my whole body. Just a few more minutes to go. A last quick revision of my notes. It is time to accept my fate. I approach the podium and wish myself to a place far, far away.

Okay, full stop. What is happening?

Over the last few years and weeks, I’ve had countless situations where I had to stand at the front and, hello Erasmus life, speak in languages that were not my native tongue. Double trouble? Well, it is definitely time for some reflection on something I can’t run away from. And I wouldn’t want to.

Because, as Kelly Clarkson knows, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I have been thinking a lot about where this nervousness may come from.

  • Is it my language skills? No. I have reached a point where I feel perfectly comfortable using and switching spontaneously between Spanish and English.
  • Is it the fear of saying something wrong or not being good enough? Maybe. I mean, of course I want to do my best and the high expectations I have of myself definitely put more pressure on it.
  • Is it the other people that make me nervous? That could be it. But why? Especially in the university we are all in the same boat and can usually expect moral support from each other.

Basically, there are no problems. University is the best place to practise speaking skills, because we will never be so protected. Knowing how to present yourself and foreign content in a professional, relaxed and appealing way is vital for our future careers. So why not use the chances we are given instead of trying to avoid them?

obama-speech

HE has a reason to be nervous.

Images: pixabay.com

 

Advertisements

The Moment When You Turn Into A Personal Brand

What do Coca-Cola, Apple and You have in common? It is this one question from my lecture on “Interaction, Relationships and Networks” that inspired me to make my mind up about something I’ve never really considered important – personal branding.

Well, the answer is pretty straightforward. Just like an iPhone or a bottle of Coke, our chances in the market depend on how we market ourselves. Just as Apple or Coca-Cola represent strong brands in their respective industries, so should we while hunting for jobs.

  • What do I stand for?
  • How do I want to be seen by possible employers?
  • How am I selling myself?

It is time for some reflection on core values, strengths and an increasingly demanding labour market. I am happy about the incentive and the insight that reflection is not only important inside university. How academic it might feel, this is true life. I know I tend to forget that while sitting inside these big walls.

To dive into the topic this guide about How to build your personal brand has helped me a lot as well as Peter Montoya’s book The Personal Branding Phenomenon. Everything I learned in this lecture is definitely going to help me for future job applications.

Maybe it could help you, too!

Image: pixabay.com