Ahh, that voice. The invalidating, shameful, mean one that shows up when we're anxious. I know that voice was designed to keep us all safe from danger. Yet I think more harm can come from listening to the tape recording in our head.
Public speaking can cause deep anxiety and fear. Most of us dread even the thought of speaking in front of others. Now is not the time to let fear take over—on a personal or political note. If you've been asked to speak, here are five ways to overcome your fear of public speaking:
For years, my husband would tell me how to pick up something - bend your knees! - the importance of stretching - hold for at least 30 seconds! - and why running without cross training is bad for you - it just is.
I don’t think I ever followed his instructions. So much for my deep listening skills.
We all become who we are by standing on the shoulders of others. I was fortunate to find a mentor who changed the course of my life and gave me the gift of changing others’ lives, too.
I share my story as an invitation for you to reflect on a person who has shaped your life. Who have been the key influencers in your life? In what way have they impacted you? Writing this essay was a journey of healing, honoring, discovery and closure. I hope that in reading my story you will discover new things about your own.
Do you visit the ole’ RABBIT HOLE before you speak? Your adrenaline gets going and instead of being the master storyteller you've always dreamed of, you have a little voice that shows up and says, “Honey, you ain't that special. Who wants to hear from you?”
Or equally sabotaging, the thought that says, “How is telling them about me going to help? Aren’t they here to learn about XYZ?”
Okay, here’s the thing. Storytelling isn’t about you or the audience. It’s about the connection you make...
A few weeks ago, I attended my eighth grader’s graduation where he stepped up … literally, stepped up … to the next bleacher. The only sounds I could hear were cheers and some hootin' and hollerin’ from yours truly. A moment that felt so significant, yet didn't even involve words.
Have you ever let the opportunity to say something — at a gathering or event — pass? Where you wish you had expressed a thought, feeling, or sentiment but didn’t?
I want to wake up every morning and know that I have been brought here for a reason. Don’t you?
You may wonder how I could struggle with this. Didn’t I spend 20 years devoted to an organization where lives were transformed as a result of my efforts? Well, yes, that’s true. But it doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle to find my purpose.
I was the founder’s first hire and worked for 20 years at Summer Search, a national nonprofit committed to helping young people transform what they believe is possible for themselves. Most of the students are first in their family to go to college.