Public speaking is an important skill in today’s business environment. So, the issue becomes just how do you overcome inhibitions, fear and anxiety to discover your inner confidence, positive energy and the ability to influence others. Let’s look at three key ways to address this issue:
1. Accept and love yourself
2. Accept and love others
3. Let go and have fun
Your presentations become authentic and charismatic when you first accept and love yourself. Take time to think about all your really good qualities, whatever they are. Celebrate these qualities and encourage a smile to spread across your face. Write these good qualities down and read them out loud with a clear strong voice. Now, think about your not-so-good qualities. Rather than get down about yourself, celebrate these qualities too. This is you. This is all of you, both good and not-so-good. Bring compassion to any parts of yourself that may feel shame or hopelessness as you look at the qualities of yourself that may have been labeled as not-so-good. My guess is that you developed these qualities to protect yourself from being hurt in some way. Breathe in love. Anxiety, fear and self doubt come out when you let the inner battle between your good and bad qualities rage. It takes a lot of energy, in the form of anxiety to push away parts of yourself that you may not like. Instead, embrace all of who you are with love.
As you fill with love to yourself, you are now able to reach out to others with the same love and compassion. Let your eyes twinkle as you connect to them. Whether you’re making a sales pitch or doing a presentation, remember it’s not about you. It’s about your audience. Everybody just wants to be seen, heard and loved. Connect with others from a place of compassion, understanding, patience and an acknowledgment of “we’re all just being human”. Listen to your audience with your whole being, with your soul. Radiate your inner love and let your audience know you care. Feel your confidence grow as you focus your attention and connection to your audience from a place of honest, loving communication.
Finally, with love for yourself and others, remember that life is short. So let your hair fly loose and have fun! Try a little humor. Let yourself feel everything. Really breathe deeply and discover the joy in being alive. Smile and imagine that smile moving down through your whole body and then reaching out to others. Trust that the Universe is guiding you and don’t try to control the outcome. No more “white knuckling” it through life, release your grip and let go. Have fun!