By Doreen Hamilton, Ph.D. (Author of Essential Speaking: The 7-Step Guide to Finding Your Real Voice) EssentialSpeaking.com
Do you find yourself anxious about speaking in front of groups? Do you imagine people are going to judge you? I can relate because I once suffered from stage fright.
On my journey to overcome my fear of public speaking, I discovered that finding my true voice was the key to dissolving the anxiety that held me back. I know now that it’s possible to be comfortable and natural whenever you speak, whether to an audience or one-to-one.
My 7-Step Guide to Finding Your Real Voice goes well beyond conventional public speaking training. As a psychologist and mindfulness teacher, I believe gaining the confidence to speak is not learning better performance techniques. It’s about tapping into who you really are, your Essential Self, and finding the power of your REAL voice.
You’ll notice that each step starts with “BE”. Why? Because it is the essential state of BEING that needs to be strengthened.
- BE Silent (see the silence within you is a source of strength)
- BE Present (stay in the moment and don’t anticipate the future)
- Be Aware (remember eye to eye connection establishes rapport)
- BE Listening (notice and receive the support from others)
- BE Affirmative (look for the best in those you are with)
- BE Connected (engage conversationally with one person at a time)
- BE Yourself (stay centered in who you truly are and watch fear dissolve naturally)
With each of these steps, you will become more and more able to BE in the moment (Presence), connected to yourself and others (Connection), and free to express yourself (Authenticity).
It is in finding your real voice and the courage to BE you, that you develop the confidence to express yourself in any situation, anytime, anywhere.