“I’m really working on fine-tuning my public speaking skills at the moment,”
is a sentence that ten years ago, when I was fully in the clutch of social anxiety and glossophobia, I would never have imagined myself saying.
So it’s a great ‘problem’ to have! 🙂
I’m being guided through my problem by the great Julian Treasure, of TED fame, to the point where I even coughed up 12 quid for a Udemy course of his. Absolute bargain!
And as he’s helped me, I’ll help you… by sharing what he believes to be the essential building blocks of powerful public speaking – useful whether you’re concerned with public speaking itself, or simply feeling more comfortable in social situations.
So here it is…
Honesty: be clear and straightforward when you speak. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Authenticity: be yourself, without fakery, exaggeration or people-pleasing. Simply ‘stand in your own truth’.
Integrity: Be true to your word and do as you say you’ll do.
Love: wish your audience well, without judgement of them.
According to Treasure, love is the glue that binds the other parts of HAIL together. And as he notes, it’s very difficult to judge someone when you’re sending love and kindness at the same time.
For me, this last one was the key to breaking through my intense long-held phobia of public speaking. In taking the focus away from myself and endlessly worrying about how the audience may be judging me, I felt immediately calmer by re-framing my questions to centre around the audience; by considering how I could share the very best of my skills and knowledge in a way that would be most effective and beneficial for them.
I’m very aware that you may be in a place right now where you’re not ready to communicate using some of these steps. Showing who you really are isn’t always easy, especially when you’re either unsure of who that is or unsure if you even like this person.
If this is the case, start at the bottom – start with love.
Send good wishes to everyone you encounter, through your words, actions, thoughts and feelings.
If nothing else, socialising will become a much less worrisome experience and perhaps even something that you grow to enjoy.