Monday, July 2, 2012

Picture Everybody in Their Underwear & You’ll be FINE…

Picture Everybody in Their Underwear & You’ll be FINE…Really???

When I was a little girl up until the 6th grade, I was terrified of speaking in front of the class, school, large crowds (20+), etc…I would burst into sobbing tears and hope that I could go back to my seat (who wants to hear someone try to read and cry???? They did!)! I tried all the tricks, my mom said, “Picture everybody naked or in their underwear” and I’m thinking “What GOOD does that do???…Since they’re not!” Long story short, THAT DIDN’T WORK!

I couldn’t figure it out because I was full of joy, laughter and very talkative on all the other days…but as soon as it was my turn to present something/anything, like a set alarm clock, the tears went off! The next day, everyone would say, “What happened?” “Why were you crying?” the list goes on and on. However, I did not respond because after all, doesn’t everyone have a little stage fright (let me be)?

Someway, somehow, I had to find out what was wrong, why does getting in front of all these people that I see everyday make me nervous to the point of crying!?!?                  

“The thing that challenges you the most could be the thing that you are destined to overcome and conquer.” –Your Inner Confidence Speaking

I’ll be completely honest, the 6th grade must have been the year that I opened the gift of confidence, rejected the possibility of rejection, stood my ground, presented with no tears and began to fight fear…yep, it was a major year!

From that up until now, which is several years and presentations later, I’ve watered down public/presentation/crowd (fill-in-the-blank) speaking, I’ve compared my own, and I have to say something amazingly CRAZY and profound about it, Ready???…

Public Speaking is Just Talking, a conversation where you get to do all the talking, and people have to listen or at least pretend because you have the stage/floor/platform (whatever you wanna call it) and until you sit down & be quiet, they have to listen!

BUT, let me give out some instructions on how and why to water down public speaking to just talking. Quick Comment: I have presented some not so hot presentations since the 6th grade (ha!) and it was a result of not being sure of the things I’m about to say!

When I present,

  +Is there a Purpose and do I know it? The silliest to the most boring topic has a purpose for being presented, if you can’t find it, define it or in other words make it up, create one. This is NOT LYING but giving a topic a reason to be presented, there is a difference!

  +Is there something about the topic that I can be Passionate about? Find a specific area of the topic that speaks to you, something that relates to you in some shape or form. If you ARE interested, they’ll be interested, or at least grow an interest. When you find a topic or part of a topic that interests you…TALK ABOUT IT! No one wants to listen to you be bored about a boring topic, trust me, YOU CAN MAKE IT INTERESTING!

  +Do I know the Purpose and understand the topic enough to be Passionate and have Confidence when I speak? Know what you know, believe it, and then tell about it! We talk to our friends about everything and nothing without even thinking about it, know the topic you’re presenting the same way so you can just talk about it like in a conversation!

  +And if I know and have all of the answers to the previous questions, will I promise myself to be Bold, stand or sit up straight, feet on the ground, and defend what I’ve presented because I know what I know and I’m not backing down???? Let me repeat myself, “I know what I know, and I’m not backing down,” once you have decided to be confident you can’t take it back (well, you can but confidence just looks a whole lot better), give em’ good eye contact and a smile  when you’re done (teeth or no teeth, you decide)! Enjoy yourself and have fun!

***Oh and please, please…please don’t end with “I’m done” “That’s It” “That’s All I Got” “I’m Finished, Can I Sit Down?” it's like taking a shower before playing in the mud, just unnecessary! Silence, “Any Questions?” or “Thank You” is the perfect way to end your amazing speech no matter who you are!

GYC Commentary: The thing that challenged me the most became the thing that I overcame, conquered and enjoy doing because after all, I know what I know & I’m not backing down plus public speaking is just talking!

+++If there is a lesson in here, anywhere from experience…is to pursue and conquer that thing that challenges you the most, the thing that embarrasses you that embarrasses no one else, something you wish you were proud of but makes you nervous at the mention of it, etc.
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