Participants always look at me in astonishment: ‘You, shy ?!’ Yes. As a child I discovered that you could capture attention while stage playing, and I liked that. But I mostly acted like I was not shy. Add that to many years of speaking in front of groups of 3 to 3,000 people and you will understand why this embarrassment is less and less visible.

The paradox is, that I teach a lot of people about communication and leadership. Inter alia to step over one’s eventual shyness. During presentations and in daily interactions I have succeeded in doing this for quite some years now. Be it while regularly repeating the mantra, “Breathe, talk and see what happens.”


Compliments always were – and still are – my Achilles heel. Especially when it comes to words like ‘inspiring’. Usually I would laugh in a shy way, while a struggle between pride, amazement and uncertainty caused a autiful and difficult mix of emotional disorder from within.

A few years ago I realized that there is a step to take here as well. Then I read somewhere: “Inspiring?! Inspiring? What in particular was it that you thought was so inspiring? And what has it brought you in practice?’ Great questions, in theory. Now I had to learn to be daring enough to ask them…

Nowadays, it has become a habit, similar to the one of taking cold showers. Uncomfortable to do, but it will make things better! And afterwards I’m always happy that I did it. Especially when the answer is one like this:

“I really liked to see how you as a ‘shy’ type are able to tell in such an inspiring way and to learn that business flirting is just a matter of doing! Exactly what I, a shy person myself, can learn. Currently, I am working

[as a Consultant]. I will attend various conferences and meetings. Just about the right time to increase my network and immediately make your own tools my own.”