Bite the Big Apple

posted by Momo Fali on July 10, 2012

In the ninth grade, I was in a public speaking class made up of students from every grade in my high school. This meant that as a terrified freshman, I had to get up and talk in front of a room full of people, including seniors. It was awful.

It was also one of the best things that ever happened to me.

The public speaking teacher made us tape ourselves and going back through those tapes is like listening to a butterfly emerge from a cocoon; a cocoon that said, “Like” a lot. A whole lot.

I never had a problem when I taped myself singing Barbra Streisand’s “Memories” in our half bathroom as a 5 year old, but put me in front of an audience at 14 and there was no chance of me belting out a tune, because I could barely talk. My speeches and stories ended up a jumbled mess of nervousness that were half Cindy Brady on a quiz show and half Miss Teen USA, circa 2007. Such as.

But, blogging has changed something in me, and my job most certainly has. I “talk” to tens-of-thousands of people every day now and I’ve learned that if you are truly authentic, it’s not so scary. Though, I’m not going to lie, speaking in front of roughly 4,000 people last summer was enough to give me nervous poops. See? Authentic.

In a few weeks, I’ll be in NYC to speak at BlogHer’s annual conference again; first as a Pathfinder (a HUGE honor) and then as a moderator/panelist on how beginners can leverage Facebook and Twitter to increase traffic and engagement on your blog. Did you hear that? That was my mom saying, “You lost me at traffic.”

In the planning of the all-day Pathfinder workshop and the social media panel, I find that I’m not nervous in the least. Instead, I am excited; practically bursting at the seams to talk, share, listen and learn. I will be among the best and brightest bloggers in the world and I will stand before them as my authentic self. Well, unless I run into Katie Couric or Martha Stewart in the green room, in which case I’ll freak out and sweat a lot. Fair warning, ladies. Especially you, Katie.

It feels good to not worry about public speaking anymore and it feels great to know that I have the confidence to say so.

It’s, like, going to be totally great!


  • Lisa @ Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy

    I still suck at public speaking but blogging and the events I’ve attended because of it has made me a much better networker, and more confident in general. I can’t wait to go to NYC, something I never would have done a few years ago!!

  • Melisa

    Yeah! Go you!!!

    And P.S. If you run into Katie, I really hope you will drag her–nicely–over to me. I’ll do your talking for you.

  • Liz

    So. now I can admit that speaking at #BBSummit a week from Saturday is giving me the nervous poops and be okay with it…thanks!!! Looking forward to cheering you on, my dear 🙂

  • Annettek

    Just being a room with 4,000 women will probably give me nervous poops, much less speaking in front of them. I know you’re going up be crazy busy but I really hope I get to meet you.

    • Momo Fali

      You just make sure you find me!

  • Christina

    I still suck at public speaking. I can’t even get through a conference call without saying something stupid.

    That whole being authentic thing is hard for me. Mostly because I’m not even sure where to find my authenticity. (I’ve looked – if what I found is authentic, then I’m pretty dull, ha!)

    You’re going to do fantastic, though, and you’ll make it look effortless. I won’t be at Pathfinder because I’m going to HealthMinder, but I’ll cheer you on for your session!

  • Alexandra

    You will be awesome and we will love you.

    Just as long as you don’t go offering me your seat, cuz I ain’t elderly.



    Can’t wait to hug you!!

  • Mr Lady

    You kick ass, and shark poop. I am stupidly proud of you, girl.

  • Patty

    You were fabulous last year!

    And will be just as fabulous if not more this year. I’m just sorry I’m going to miss seeing you.


  • AlisonH

    Love it. You have the best sense of humor–always that last bit at the end to make us laugh. Go Momo!

  • alaina

    I get this gawd-awful deep voice when public speaking, but at least I am able to say what I need to say. Good luck at the conference!

  • Missy

    Being a first time attender this year, I feel like YOU are “the” Katie or Martha for me. So, no pressure or anything. Ha.

  • Hannah

    Someone once told me that everyone is a different kind of nervous; there’s the poppers, the pee-ers, and the shakers. All of those I think would be authentic. 😉

    I really enjoyed having you lead Pathfinder day! You were such a great resource and Pathfinder was an excellent way to start the conference (especially for a newb). I learned a lot that day…about blogging and about myself. 🙂

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