Forge Guide to Public Speaking

How I Tricked My Body Into Being Okay With Public Speaking

DBT and the other acronyms that changed my life

Kelli María Korducki
Forge
Published in
4 min readDec 18, 2019

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Illustration: Kiki Ljung

This story is part of How to Get Better at Public Speaking, the Forge guide to talking in front of a crowd.

II like to tell people that I got my first job at the age of 30. The truth is a little more complicated. I spent most of my twenties as a full-time freelance journalist and eventually became the boss of a couple of online magazines at the same time, managing teams of contractors mostly from a home office in my pajamas.

When I found myself a potential escape hatch (that is, one single job that would pay me enough to live on), I leapt at it. Little did I consider that, there, I’d have to participate in meetings. Real meetings. In rooms, with other people, and the added bonus of even more people piped in by video from a conference room across the country.

For a person unaccustomed to presenting with authority in a professional setting, the expectation to do so on a weekly basis in front of the person signing my paychecks was a real-time, waking nightmare. My awkwardness at talking to a roomful of colleagues became a constant preoccupation. I lost sleep. I clenched my jaw with such routine force that I broke a…

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Kelli María Korducki
Forge
Writer for

Writer, editor. This is where I post about ideas, strategies, and the joys of making an NYC-viable living as a self-employed creative.