Just 3 years ago I would have never imagined myself as a speaker, let alone being joyful and grateful for the opportunity to speak.
3 years ago I didn’t think I had anything of value to offer, or the ability to present it in a cohesive way, even if I did have something to teach.
The truth is, I have a wealth of knowledge and experience that thousands of people can benefit from and my experience at Wordcamp Asheville 2015 taught me how selfish it is to keep it to myself.
I have been reflecting on how I went from having such a fear of public speaking to craving more speaking engagements and opportunities to teach others and I want to share some of those with you.
Get a Speaking Coach
There is no doubt that the biggest factor to my transformation was having a coach that believes in me and constantly encourages and pushes me to be more. It just so happens that my coach is my brilliant and beautiful wife, Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM.
Her support and encouragement has been crucial to my learning to joyfully speak in public with confidence, and I am forever grateful to her for that. Thank you honey!
When selecting a coach, they must be someone who:
- Knows what they are talking about – they should be an experienced, and successful speaker.
- Will be real with you – beating around the bush doesn’t benefit anyone. You must get direct, unbiased feedback so you know exactly what areas need improvement.
- Will celebrate your successes, big and small – You must receive criticism in order to grow, but there is opposition in everything and validation encourages you to stay motivated, believe in yourself, and have greater confidence in your speaking abilities.
Opportunities to speak will come to you when you begin to focus on becoming a better speaker. Say yes! The only way we learn how to do something is by DOING it! Just like a baby learning to walk. They fall over and over, but they never give up. They continue until they are able to run and skip.
But don’t just wait around for speaking opportunities, actively seek them. The law of giving and receiving is a universal truth that works in all areas. When you give your time and effort to speaking, opportunities will show up in mysterious ways.
Start giving today and watch the opportunities that come your way! Here are some ideas to improve your public speaking and open yourself up for new speaking engagements:
- Join a Toastmasters group
- Practice a speech with your family
- Practice speaking in the mirror
- Record yourself giving a speech, watch the video to see what you want to change, and share it with your coach to see how you can improve your public speaking.
- Ask your local rotary clubs for opportunities to speak to the members (on a topic that would be truly valuable to them, and not a sales pitch).
Speak about Your Passion
In order to be an engaging and effective speaker, you must speak about what truly matters to you and gets you excited.
Every one of us has a special gift and a calling in this life that only we can fill. When you are talking about what you love everything comes out more naturally, the audience feels your positive energy, and your own fire will ignite the passion inside of people who resonate with your message.
In a similar vein, telling an emotional story can help you make an immediate connection with your audience.
There is another effect of truly speaking and living in your passion – people that your message does not resonate with will leave! It is important to be aware of this and realize that it is a GOOD thing. Being surrounded by people that don’t care about your passion drains the energy from you, the room, and the attendees. When you surround yourself with like minded people, the energy soars, things just seem to go right, and divine connections are made!
Living and speaking about your passion is critical for anyone who wants to be a successful speaker (and be happy doing it!). If you aren’t clear on what your passions are, I highly recommend taking the passion test with Elayna Fernández. It will be a compass for every area of your life to give you the clarity and focus you need to stay on course and live your life’s mission.
Let the Journey Begin
Public speaking is an incredibly rewarding experience and a powerful transformational tool to grow beyond where you are and take you to where your passions live. To some it comes more naturally, to others it is a deep journey of self-growth and self-mastery, and the rewards are beyond measure.
Focus on positives – the people you will help, the sense of accomplishment you will feel, the experience you will gain… how many positives can you come up with? Which ones do you FEEL the most strongly about? Focus on that feeling and associate it over and over again with the act of speaking in public. Teach your mind that you love to speak because you feel great when you speak!
What is your next step? Write down 20 things you can do right NOW to become a better speaker and get more speaking engagements, then choose 1 step that you will take today and DO it. Keep your list, continue adding to it, and most importantly, take action on one (or three!) action steps each day.
What action step will you take today? Share it in the comments!
Taylor Bare —]——— The Jedi Father