Defeating my public speaking fears at the QLC

This post is brought to you by Razan Kahlout, a student at Qatar Academy. Here she talks about overcoming her fear of public speaking, and using the QLC to help her do that.


As a student, and more importantly, a teenager, we all enter all these conferences and school-related events, never really expecting them to benefit us in our personal lives, or even in anything we are usually interested in. It was my third time, and my honour, to attend the Qatar Leadership Conference a few weeks ago, a conference that has majorly shifted a lot of my views, interests, and fears. When I first attended the QLC, I was an admin, and I remember even then, in the first the QLC ever, I was intrigued by some of the guest speakers in the rooms I worked in. By the time the next conference came around, I was enrolled as a participant and a student presenter. I was extremely excited to take on such a large leadership role, but to my disappointment, it was not as big a success as I had hoped. Due to my public speaking issues, I felt very awkward during my workshop with my fellow presenters, I went on to standing at the side and letting them take control. Coincidentally, that same day, I attended as a participant a workshop about setting action plans to overcome your fears.

The next year came around, 2014, and I went ahead and presented a workshop on my own, with nobody to depend on if my public speaking became a problem. Since I was presenting on the second day, I made sure to attend a workshop on public speaking on the first day of the conference, getting pointers from the presenters to help me out. When the time of my workshop came, I remembered the pointers and repeatedly told myself to breath, be calm, interact with my audience, and smile. To my utter surprise, I was calm and collected, presenting my workshop just the way I’d imagined myself doing.

I wanted to share this story so that everyone would understand as I’ve come to know just how great and beneficial the conference is. Not only was I able to overcome some of my long-lasting fears, but I was able to attend some of the most riveting workshops, ones that did not fail in inspiring and motivating students to take a stand and strive for what they want.

Thanks for a brilliant conference!