Do you feel like you’d love to create a positive change in the world by speaking but fear is holding you back?
My work is designed to help you overcome that fear and then share your ideas and stories with impact.
I believe that anyone (and that includes you) can have the impact they want to achieve as a public speaker.
And you will have the greatest impact when you are being truly yourself on stage- not a carbon copy of someone else.
But how do you become more yourself? I believe that this comes when you talk about the things that you are passionate about or which give you a sense of purpose.
A great friend of mine once said that she's not introverted around the right people. I have a similar feeling. With some people I find I can't put two words together but with others I can talk for hours.
For me, a big part of this is whether I feel free to talk about things I am really passionate about. Then you can't shut me up. I become totally animated, and any fear I had about speaking in front of a group melts away.
I remember the first talk I gave at a storytelling party in London in 2018. I was telling a personal story about my relationship with Love and speaking one’s truth. This is an incredibly important topic to me and I could feel the anxiety of sharing very intimate details of my life fading away as I thought about what it meant to me to tell this story.
HOW TO CREATE A CONNECTION WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
When you talk about the things that you are passionate about or which give you a sense of purpose, this allows you to make an emotional connection with your audience and with yourself. And that helps you to create even more impact.
Remember this quote from Maya Angelou:
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I believe that telling personal stories is one of the most effective ways to enhance emotional connection with yourself and your audience.
Everyone has a story that others can learn from.
But here’s the important bit.
Your stories will have the most impact when they are told from an intent to give rather than take.
What do I mean by this?
I mean that your impact will be greatest when your motivation for sharing your story is to help others. To help them heal, see a new perspective, learn a new idea or piece of information. If you tell your story with the intent to show off or massage your ego, your audience will pick up on this energy and it will be a turn off for them.
This is why I only work with people who want to make a positive contribution to the world through their public speaking.
FEAR AND PUBLIC SPEAKING
FEAR = EXCITEMENT
Let me start by letting you into a little secret. Everyone (even the most experienced of speakers) feels a little fear before they get up to speak. Or, if they don’t that’s a problem. Why is that? The answer lies in my second core belief:
Fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin.
BUILD ON THAT EXCITEMENT
There is very little physiological difference between fear and excitement. Hence, if you’re scared, but nothing bad actually happens to you, then you can shift that fear into excitement. Or in other words, we can tell ourselves that the limbic reaction we are feeling in response to the thought of public speaking is actually excitement. And here’s the great thing, when things do go well, we actually do feel excitement!
If you don’t feel fear, then it is harder to create excitement. And if you have no excitement, that makes it harder to create an emotional connection with your audience. Your talk will feel flat and lifeless. So, that is what I believe that at least a little bit of fear is always a good thing.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN TURN FEAR INTO EXCITEMENT
Always remember that you don’t need to try to be someone else. This can help to reduce the pressure we sometimes put on ourselves to perform. If all we need to do is be ourselves, that sounds a lot less daunting.
Tap into your purpose and passion. Talk about the things that light you up and make you feel excited. Then you literally are creating excitement!
Practice in what feels like a safe, judgment-free environment to start with while you build your confidence. That might be just practicing in front of a trusted friend to start with. As your confidence grows you will find that the situations in which you feel safe and secure will grow too and you can start speaking to larger audiences.
Have fun and play, even when you’re talking about the most serious of topics. It can feel like extra pressure when give weight to more serious subjects, as if you need to do them justice. But by creating a little lightness, you draw in your audience and reduce the stress you are experiencing.
Create structures that help to reassure you that nothing will go wrong. This could be a written script, cue cards and other reminders. I help my clients to find the level of reassurance and types of structures that work best for them.