As I have mentioned previously in my blog, my background is in acting. So many times in my life I have used skills I learned as an actor to strengthen and intensify my message as a speaker, coach and trainer.
Better public speaking happens when you begin combining the skills you possess with facets of your personality. The purpose of this post is to familiarize you with yet another skill that will ease your tension and fear when out there speaking and presenting.
What happens to the ‘real you’ and why
I spend a lot of time talking and writing about how important it is to just “be yourself” when you’re in the spotlight. However, I realize this is so much easier said than done. We all know that when your name is called or you’re the next one up to speak, “being yourself” can easily become you, yourself and some other speaking demon that has captured your mind and body. The ‘relaxed-just-be-yourself’ you, is suddenly gone. All eyes are on you, but the tension demon is in charge and, if you don’t deal with the tension demon proactively, it will undermine you in countless ways:
- forgetting what you were going to say
- cold sweats
- unconscious nervous gesturing
- moving about unsteadily
- ultimately, anything that takes you away from connecting with your audience
Ah… but there are skills that can subdue the demon
As the title to this article suggests, we all have facets, sides, or different colors to our personalities. We’re going to explore these facets to aid us in fighting the tension demon.
Let me start by making a partial list of some different sides of my own personality as an example. My personality consists of:
The Nurturing Mother
The Wise Woman
The Inspirational Leader
The Strong Woman
The Angry Woman
The Little Girl
The Sexy/Feminine Woman
The Funny Lady
The Free Spirit
These are just a few of the facets to my personality, but the motivation for this list is to get you to think about the many different facets to your own personality.
Why acquaint yourself with your individual personality sides? So you know the depth and breadth of who you are and what you have to offer and can call on your inner strengths whenever they are needed.
Begin combining what you know with who you are for better presentations
The facets and aspects of your personality are basic weapons in your arsenal that can help fight off the demon tension. It works like this: you’re getting ready to take the stage or make a presentation. Your intention is to just “be yourself,” but you know that the demon is waiting in the wings to derail you as soon as you begin. Why not assume (or wear) one of your better, stronger sides to start the presentation? You might start by calling forth the inspirational leader, the free spirit, or the teacher, any part of you that gives you courage and confidence.
The secret to this skill is tapping an essence, a facet, a depth of your personality that can help you take on – and defeat – the tension demon. You can use as many sides as you like in the course of a presentation! The goal is to allow you just relax and be comfortable just being yourself, while being an effective communicator.
Ultimately, this better way of speaking and presenting will support you in connecting with your audience, making a greater difference in their lives.
Make your own list about yourself
I’ve shared some of my personality facets. Now, it’s your turn to identify the personal traits you know and recognize within you. Include as many aspects as you can. Remember, even though they may not all be positive, they are still highly valuable. Don’t forget to understand and use your many colors – your personal arsenal of powerful forces that, when combined with the skills you possess, will make you a powerful force when speaking and presenting.