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Studio ANCO BY Anne Clotilde Obéniche
Photography I Brand Strategy & Communication

EMBRACE YOUR SHYNESS - How I Went from Dreading Phone Calls to Speaking in Front of 300 Fashion Professionals in China

Anne Clotilde Obéniche speech Xiamen conference 2019
Anne Clotilde Obéniche speech during Xiamen conference 2019

Today, I want to share with you a transformation that has revolutionized my professional life. Did you know that, according to some studies, about 77% of people suffer from some form of social anxiety or fear of public speaking? Well, I was one of them.

I was that girl who, as a teenager, would hide as soon as the phone rang.

But 5 years ago, I faced my biggest challenge: speaking in English in front of 300 fashion pros in China at a conference where I was invited. But things didn't always go so smoothly!


My end-of-study presentation in fashion was a turning point. Shaking, I lost my composure in front of the judges. That day, I realized that my shyness was not just a personality trait, but an obstacle to my success.


A few years later in Shanghai, as a fashion consultant, I had to face a second challenge: my first client presentation in front of 70 people. In China, they don't do things by halves, it's a stage and a microphone! Despite my nervousness, I persevered. It was a bit shaky, but I made it.

It was a revelation: my passion and my naturalness outweighed my fear.

fashion & sustainability conference xiamen
Xiamen 2019 - Fashion & Sustainability conference


2019, Xiamen CN 🇨🇳

I was the youngest speaker at a national conference. I spent sleepless nights preparing, knowing that preparation was the key. According to Forbes, adequate preparation can reduce public speaking anxiety by 75%.

When I got on stage, I let my authenticity take over. I started with a joke to lighten the mood, and everything flowed naturally from there.

In the end, several people congratulated me for my "fresh" and dynamic approach.

Xiamen 2019 - Fashion sustainability conference
Xiamen 2019 Conference - Find me!

I had never been prouder of myself!

I had pushed my limits and managed to overcome one of my greatest fears. And once again, I realized that what scared me was precisely what I needed to head towards, because by facing these fears, I could transcend something within me...

Embrace your shyness: It's a part of you

  • My Keys to Shine Naturally.

  • Turn it into strength: Use it to create an authentic connection.

  • Prepare intensely: It's your armor against anxiety.

  • Be yourself: Your authenticity is your greatest strength.

  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes: it's for these little flaws that we get attached to the hero of a movie.

  • Embrace your shyness: It's a part of you

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