Are you reading this article because you want to learn more about being powerful and having an impressive presence when you speak or present? Or are you reading it because of the “speaking” word, an action that you avoid at all cost? Let me tell you, I have lived both sides of that coin and have developed a solution, appropriate for either reason.
First, a word about speaking
I want to be clear about that word speaking. The dictionary defines speaking as: able to communicate in a specified language. We can throw out the specified language part for now, because what I want to focus on is the “able to communicate.” My business, Laurie Burton Training, is all about helping people improve their ability to communicate and interact with others by expressing themselves through words and feelings.
For me, the word speaking isn’t just about teaching the specifics of how to take the stage, give a speech, present, or sell a product. It’s more about opening your mouth to speak with the intention of being heard. Speaking should involve being ready to take part in or lead a discussion. You are ready and willing to receive attention!
Are you really ready for the attention
Remember attention can cause tension, so you need to get straight and honest with yourself about what it means to put yourself out there for people to evaluate. My intention is to inspire you to take it on and to look at the art of speaking with power and presence – because it is an art, one that you can learn and master.
You know, we may call speaking a skill, but it goes way beyond that. It’s about your desire to face something that feels uncomfortable and scary, learning to absorb or assimilate the feelings and emotions that come with the attention and move through those moments.
Conversely, this new ability may have touched a part of you that you never realized before – the talent or skill within you to affect people and cause them to feel something – and suddenly, you may be receiving the kind of feedback you’ve never had before. I have seen this occur with many of my participants. They’re in the tension, but they are “talking” to it, making friends with it. They are standing in front of an audience, but something new is happening – they’re getting feedback from making eye contact and reaction to the words they speak. Speaking is starting to feel like something they can do.
Finding your power and presence when speaking
Say “YES” to facing your fear and see what happens. It’s the ultimate way to take your place in the world. Acknowledge how brave you are and for goodness sake give yourself credit for your willingness to say, “I’ve had enough fear about speaking, it’s time to look it in the face!” Taking this step is a step towards finding your power, presence and freedom when speaking. You’ve said, “I can do this, I deserve this!” And you do!
What was your most terrifying moment when facing an audience? What do you do to overcome fear and find your power and presence when speaking?