Last week I attended Finding Your Balance, an event about women’s mental health at work. I was moved by the honesty and bravery of the speakers who shared stories about eating disorders, depression, anxiety and the fragile mental state that often accompanies entrepreneurship.
As an introvert, I tend to keep my personal life private. But as a speaker I know that sharing my personal story is what allows me to connect with my audience.
I spent years in the shadows of loud talkers and hyper critical bosses, and it was draining. Being talked over was demoralizing and being overlooked was frustrating. It made me hold back in so many places.
Getting comfortable speaking up was probably the most liberating experience of my adult life.
That’s why I felt called to share 3 takeaways from Finding Your Balance that you can use to help you share your message.
1. GROUND YOURSELF
Joyce Englander kicked off the morning with a short meditation. She led us through a simple grounding exercise to plant your feet, engage your legs, and feel the ground supporting you.
I do a similar exercise with my public speaking clients to help them calm their nerves and remember that at the end of the day, they are talking to other people. Speaking in public doesn’t have to be an out of body experience. It is possible to be present in the moment, to be clear and concise, and to connect with your audience on a human level. Use these easy steps:
1. When you stand up to speak or get called on at a meeting, first take a breath
2. Stand up if you can (it helps you feel more powerful)
3. Take a deep breath (this builds anticipation)
4. Don’t start talking until you feel your feet on the floor (if you don’t feel your feet, keep breathing)
This gives you a moment to get settled, collect your thoughts, and be present with your audience.
2. CHOOSE WONDER OVER WORRY
While we can’t control situations, we can change how we think about them. Amber Rae challenged us to choose wonder over worry.
You can use this same idea to shift your perspective about public speaking:
When you feel nervous, think about how you can use the opportunity to grow outside your comfort zone.
When you feel afraid, focus on what you can learn from this experience and what you give your audience
3. SHARE YOUR STORY
The statistics on mental health in the workplace are staggering and all the speakers talked about the importance of speaking up and sharing your struggles.
Amber Rae shared this lovely sentiment that “Your mess is your message.”
Sharing your message can feel scary, especially when so many thoughts are jumbled in your head, but it’s also liberating.
What would it be like to free some of those ideas in your head?
Do you need help taking that first step? I’d be happy to hop on the phone with you and help you get clear on your objective. Schedule here for a free, no obligation chat.
And if there’s something you’re passionate about, start talking about it.