I love speaking to groups of people. But it wasn’t long ago that the mere thought of heading to the front of the room to speak totally sent me into fight-or-flight mode.

You know when your heart starts beating so fast it’s as if you are being chased by a wild animal through the forest with no safe place to hide.

They say public speaking is one of the top fears out there. Most people avoid it all cost, but I soon learned that when I shared a story from my life, it was easy to get up in front of the room.

Being courageous and stepping through my fear showed me the power of public speaking.

I could create laughter and take the group on a journey as I shared my stories of traveling throughout the United States in an RV.

Or I could lead the audience on a journey of powerful reflection inspiring them to take action on their dreams.

Sharing your stories brings a whole new level of connection with your audience. It humanizes you and makes you a real person.

Speaking is an amazing way to make an impact in the lives of many people. Your stories can inspire change, create hope, change a life or possibly save a life.

What story do you have to tell?

About Julie Barnes

Julie Barnes is a business storyteller and social strategist at Julie Barnes Live. She helps discover and tell the stories of entrepreneurs and small businesses that connect with clients, leaving a lasting impression. She is a certified coach, writer, entrepreneur and a regular blogger for The Huffington Post.

Connect with Julie on Twitter at @JulieBarnesLive or on the web atwww.JulieBarnesLive.com.