I can’t remember where I heard this, but it’s something that has kept coming back to me again and again recently.
When you’re speaking to a group of people, you don’t have to know more than them or be better than them; your job is to share your own experiences, being as they are, different to other peoples’.
I’ve had a life-long battle with fear of public speaking and even now, as far as I’ve come, it’s still something that I’m not entirely comfortable with – especially if I haven’t done it for a while.
A huge part of why I did used to fear it so, is that I held myself to such an impossibly high standard – I thought that I had to be invulnerable; perfect. I thought that showing any sign of nerves, any kind of stumble, would mean that my audience would lose confidence in me. Telling myself that I had to appear to know more than my audience, provoked a huge amount of anxiety.
And of course that’s not true. Because when I listen to others present, I take in a lot more from people who are just being themselves and sharing what they know, as opposed to people who appear arrogant and all-knowing.
So I’m trying to take this little piece of wisdom into my teaching, public speaking and daily social interaction.
I’m trying to remember, that I don’t have to be perfect;
I just have to be myself.