In response to questions about handling nerves when speaking in public, I often tell this story. It’s a true story.

I went skydiving at the age of 19. I went because I wanted to conquer my fear of heights. For some reason I got picked to jump first which meant I was packed into the plane last – beside the open door – which stayed open the whole way up. As we got higher and higher, I got whiter and whiter. The instructor noticed how white I was and so engaged me in a conversation to distract me. He told me he had completed at least 750 jumps. I asked him if he ever got nervous and he replied: “oh, yes, every time, it’s what keeps me alive”.

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