Recently, a new Facebook friend wrote that he was busily, preparing for a public speaking opportunity where he would be presenting the message of his transformational book to an audience of over 800 people. Naturally, he was a little nervous!
I was instantly reminded of other times when I, my clients or friends had been in that same position.
Another friend rang me for help with her nerves the week before a presentation to a much smaller group, but they were a high-profile corporate audience… and, frankly, she wasn’t used to presenting to ‘men in suits’.
Whether it’s the number or type of people you are speaking too, or the content itself, lack of confidence can be uncomfortable and debilitating. And if you don’t get it handled, you can end up feeling disappointed. Like you missed an opportunity to really shine.
You know you have an important message to share, so how do you really shine with it, in the way that message deserves?
Why we stumble…
Here’s the thing. When you are in the spotlight, presenting an important message to an audience… Well, it’s a big energy. And if you don’t make time and space for it, that energy can feel uncomfortable. And that discomfort can have you racing through the presentation, disconnected from your own soul, your deeper message, and your audience.
And it can be kind of disappointing, because even if you say everything you wanted to say, you can still finish feeling empty if that deeper connection is not there with your audience.
What you can do…
So here’s what I do when I want my soul to really shine through when I’m speaking.
1. Give it sweet time… and silence. You know the saying “take your own sweet time”? Well, it feels good to do something in your own sweet time, doesn’t it? You feel joyful and happy, and others enjoy you more because of it.
For some reason, when public speaking, whether it’s in person or online in a teleclass or interview, it can often feel like you need to “keep talking” no matter what. To avoid that uncomfortable silence. You don’t. Give yourself permission to stop, be silent, take a deep breath. I learned this from Mark Silver at Heart of Business. I love listening to him in a live class or telecall, because he’ll actually make space for silence. If someone asks him a question, he’ll take his own sweet time to really connect with his own heart, before he answers. And then – of course – his answers just shine.
The other thing that happens when you take your time and make space for the silence, is that you give your audience space to show up in your own presentation. In the spaces and moments of silence they can more fully experience their own thinking and feeling responses to what you have spoken. Their own soul can begin to see itself in the light of what you are saying. So even in the silence, you shine.
2. Get Grounded. I learned this from sacred musician Eliana Giliad from Voices of Eden, who shared with me how she always does this exercise before she sings… because it improves her stage presence and also her voice.
Very simply, close your eyes and feel your feet. Breathe into your lower belly. Feel your energy going down into the earth, like tree roots, tapping into the soil. And feel the earth’s energy coming up into you, just like the nutrients travel up through the roots into the tree. When you are rooted firmly on solid ground, you can hold the energy of your presentation more fully and easily. You can shine.
3. Remember the message. The whole reason you are giving this presentation is in order to share a deeper message that is important to you – and to your audience. You are just the messenger but the message that you bear will change people’s lives. So don’t worry about your own flaws or talents, just focus on the message you are offering.
4. Feel your invisible support. If you believe in guardian angels, know that yours will be with you that day. You also have the support of your ‘lineages’ (explanation) . Feel them stretching behind you, supporting you (like standing on the shoulders of giants).
Finally, give yourself permission to take a moment for a good long pause at any point in your talk to repeat steps 1 to 4.
And 5., 6., 7., …?
These are the simple ways I know, by which you can access the confidence and presence that will allow you to really shine brightly in your business, as you share your deeper message with the world.
… But perhaps you even know of other ways? ….Perhaps you’ve also experienced some stumbling – or shining, as you went to bring your soul’s message to the world ? …Perhaps you’d like to share your response to this post in the comments below? (I’d sure love to read ’em!)