Is Public Speaking Getting The Better Of You?
"A good speech should be like a woman's skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest." - Winston Churchill
Public Speaking is a task that will divide the population. Some take it in great stead and feel it is an opportunity to connect with others and deliver their message, and then there is the other half whom quite frankly would revert to ANYTHING other. I have been on both spectrums; a devoted listener and a public speaker. Still to this day, it is not where my comfort zone lies, but never the less, speaking in front of many people is what must be done and I simply get into a state of whom I would like to be and tell stories of my past and who I am weaving the structured message in between. I was the type of kid at school who would blush at the notion of delivering something I believed in. My voice would tremble and then I got into a panic where I could not breathe well enough. (Shallow breathing serves no purpose!) My only thoughts then became about how to escape NOW. As I aged, I then found all these uncomfortable feelings had not gone away, but simply compiled with an added new one of digestive discomfort. Now, I had tummy gurgling, in-opportunistic tensing and immediate response to go relieve myself. Please tell me you can relate and I am not the only one who felt like this? Not once did I ever think 'how the audience was feeling?'
Not once did I ever think 'am I connecting with the audience?' And by asking those two simple questions to myself is what led me on the road to public speaking transformability. I always thought you needed to be someone else instead of being YOU. Crazy, I know. But I truly thought that people were more interested in humour or greatness and none of those qualities I had. Have you ever tried to learn a massive amount of information and then relay it to someone else and everything fails. You forget vital words that take the punch out of the story. You get off track and then find your way trying to get back on point. And sometimes it just looks like you are reading from your notes...none of which is connecting with your audience. But as strange as this may seem... I discovered that we are ALL incredible beings! No-one has ever walked in your shoes, your life is interwoven with strengths of natural talent and courage and inferior moments that makes you vulnerable. A person who is REAL, someone that maybe we can relate to or simply can be intrigued about is someone I would want to hear speak. So, you do not have to spend your time trying to be someone else you think the audience wants to hear from, but instead tell your own stories, the ones you know in your heart and soul, the ones you can show a glint of a smile when you speak fondly of or a tear when the pain is real. These are the stories that draw in the crowd reflecting with their own life's stories. (Oh.. and tensing awkwardly still does not help magnetise a crowd.) Naturally, the point of why you are speaking needs to be well rehearsed. It also must align with who you are, the passion you feel about the content and the importance you hold knowing this could offer change to another. The subject woven through your own life's stories is what the audience will take home. As a quote I read said - "The words I did not remember but I do remember how I felt" and that is your aim. If you want people to remember you, let them feel. Let them feel like they have won, they were important, they can see a vision of what life could be like, they have a path ahead that is clear, they felt good.
I found a little article from Tony Robbin's team in regards to this. Have a read: How To Steal The Show Things that can help: 1. Remember, it is not really about you, it is information that can help another grow. 2. Quivers in your voice is not a turn off if the content is worthy of listening too. 3. You want to help the audience to feel connected. 4. Take the time to think about the wonderful strengths and calmness you have and any other quality you'd like to bring to the crowd, before walking out on stage. 5. Don't look down too much, you want to have a real conversation with the audience, be interactive. Lastly, YOU'VE GOT THIS!
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Meg Hogan is an Amazon #1 Best Selling author in Australia and US for 'Get Rich Be The Voice' and a Business Coach helping owners maximise their business potential to be in the best possible position to reap more revenue and retain more personal wealth. With her 100% money-back guarantee of satisfaction, she gives certainty to her clients that their best interests are at heart.
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