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I spoke at my first PPC event. Why I count it as a success

Hello, my name is Veronica Ruiz Morcillo, and the 29th of September 2022 is a date I will never forget.

Not only was it a lovely sunny autumn day (which can be pretty big news in London), but it was my first opportunity as a public speaker!

As you can imagine, I woke up rather nervous on that day. English is not my first language (i’m from Spain), so the thought of standing in front of over 100 people as my first time on stage felt quite daunting. I woke up however, knowing that I had already succeeded.

“Feel the fear and do it anyway”

You can’t get around fear, the only way is to go through it. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to speak in public, chair a team meeting or have a difficult conversation with your boss, the only way through it is by speaking and getting used to it. Speaking in public, speaking up is one of those areas where success is based on what is called inoculation training, the more you do it, the better you get at it.

So, from the moment I said yes to speaking at PPC Live UK, I had already succeeded. I overcame my own excuses of “I don’t feel ready”, “I might look stupid”, “nobody will understand me” and I took myself out of my comfort zone. I said yes to challenge my fears, to beat my own ghosts and to knock my impostor syndrome down (for a while). I committed myself to try and do my best, and trying is the foundation for success. “You are not a failure because you don’t make it, you are a success because you try”.

Geniuses are made, not born

Obviously, we all want to have a brilliant first time. As first-time speakers, we can get obsessed with the idea of perfection, or of delivering an awesome presentation, or of remembering the whole script. However, these are bonuses.

The fact is that it is highly likely your first time will be your worst one, and to be honest, I definitely hope so. I am not being a b#$%&!; I just hope you improve with time, not get worse! The main goal for your first time is exactly that, to be the first time. This means that, by showing up, you have already accomplished the main goal – having YOUR first time.

One of the biggest aspects of successful communication is managing our own expectations. We need to accept that we are newbies. We need to remind ourselves that this first time on stage is not about the audience or the presentation, it is about us. The achievement of a first time doesn’t come from delivering the best result but from crossing the line while learning and enjoying. This is key for the success of your first time, showing up and enjoying it so you want to do it again and again until you deliver that perfect talk.

We ALL feel nervous

Every singer or sports player I have heard talking about those moments before jumping onto the stage mentions nervousness (I am sure Madonna also felt nervous before performing Vogue for the millionth time at the Super Bowl). The truth is that even the most experienced speaker repeating her most successful talk feels nervous and this is completely natural.

As I was told while preparing my first talk, “nerves mean that we care”; nerves mean that we are humans. So success, I am human! By understanding this while I was practising my script, I was able to accept my nerves and work with them. And that, man, was a complete accomplishment. We all have different ways to deal with anxiety, I fully succeeded in finding mine so I was ready to embrace my nerves by the time I put my feet on stage.

Sharing is (successfully) caring

So yes, I was proudly feeling nervous before my talk but I was fully determined to enjoy the experience. While practising my speech with my partner (I practised a lot in front of him, to the point that now he thinks he is an expert on PPC), he kept telling me that the best talks he has seen are from those who are just natural; those who behave as if they were talking with a bunch of friends. I know what you are thinking; I told him exactly the same – “easier said than done!” – but he was completely right. We may be in front of thousands of people, but we are just sharing our experiences; we don’t need to be anyone else, we just need to talk about what we know the best.

We all have awesome stuff to share, we all have made great learnings across our own journey that we should share. It may inspire newbies, it may help experienced marketers and it may at least show another’s point of view. Sharing is the foundation of every successful community so verbalising my own experience in the most passionate way was helpful to the success of our community. I should definitely enjoy that!

Building our community

Community, here is where the peak of the success comes; contributing and being part of this community was definitely the best part of my accomplishment. Not only have I crossed the line and spoken at my first event (discovering a lot about myself in the journey), but I have been able to discuss my own experiences with like-minded people, I have learned a lot about PPC, about marketing and about being a human being in a work environment, I have met amazing peers who feel like friends already. This goes beyond any talk success, this is life success.

And it is your turn

So… what is holding you back? You can do it, too! If you are here, it is highly likely that you already have some amazing experiences related to PPC and digital marketing. PPC Live UK wants to know about them and help you to amplify your voice. Join our community, pitch for a talk, and succeed with us.

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