While I have been speaking nationally and internationally for several years now, I really just wanted to be a writer and a podcast who healed people through her material and services. It wasn’t until I decided to hold two workshops at the Mind Body Spirit Expo in 2014 that I realized I have uncovered something. I realized that people wanted to get to know Tia, the woman behind the writings and powerpoint presentations. I was just speaking my truth about the power of dreams at the workshop. Afterward, people were lining up to talk to me, me! I wasn’t ready but I was willing to answer the call of the people!
Fast forward four years, cities, and countries later, the common concerns people tell me about their relationship with speaking are:
- How can they speak their truth?
- How can they say what they really feel, such as not wanting to go somewhere or do something?
- How can they get their point across without being super emotionally charged?
- How can they be more expressive when they have to be “on” all the time?
I totally get it and I’m still working on my craft of speaking in front of people. I also practice being decisive and meaning “No” when I say it. Isn’t it crazy that so many people are afraid of or just don’t want to say “No” that now we have to say “That’s a hard no.” No means no. It’s okay to be decisive and say, “No.” Part of being able to speak your truth is meaning what you say and not leave room for interpretation.
Good professional speakers know how to manage a crowd. It’s exciting to see a speaker speak to a large audience but still make people feel like it’s an intimate setting.
But what happens when the person who isn’t a professional speaker just wants to get their point across in an environment that’s not intimate and it’s hard to get a word in the conversation?
You have the right to speak your truth
Unlike internet gangsters who type whatever they want without regard, you have something meaningful to say. And, you want to make sure it comes out correct by your standards. Don’t get too caught up in the “How will I sound?” for right now. Just get used to speaking up and speaking for what’s right, even for the simple things.
Speak from the heart
Speak from the heart (aka your intuition), add a dash of logical thinking, and you’re on a roll toward speaking your truth. Place your hand over your heart and make a personal pledge to speak up when you get that urge and correct people as needed.
Practice your tone, hand usage, and stance
Everyone has a starting point when learning how to talk in front of people. Pace yourself when you talk and take a few pauses. Fluctuate the tone of your voice so you won’t sound boring. How are you using your hands? Are you standing/sitting up straight?
Toastmasters and Story Slam
Being part of Toastmasters is a great way to practice various speeches with a group of people. Story Slam is a great way to practice telling your story somewhat off the cuff. I’ve been to a Story Slam, it’s inexpensive to attend, it can be nerve-racking (I was mentally saying don’t pick me), and extremely funny (some people’s stories were unbelievable!). Story Slam is a great way to just get yourself out there. Every Story Slam has a theme so you tell a story based on that theme, the best stories win prizes, and everyone is very supportive. I’m glad I did it!
Do some research on your topic
Part of being confident in speaking and in particular speaking your truth is doing research about that very topic. Good professional speakers spend lots of time researching and gathering their experiences, which also adds to their credibility, to back up what they are saying. You want to live your life unapologetically, do some research on what it means to live life according to you. You want to not have children, do some research on people who have lived successful lives sans children. It’s a huge confidence booster because it’s easy to think we are alone in a certain way of thinking.
What are some concerns you have about speaking up? What do you think makes a professional speaker? Which point will you implement? Share in the comments below.
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