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How important it is right now to feel like there is hope for humanity!
That’s one of the reasons behind The LIFT event that occurs regularly at the Arts Building in Gibsons – to feel inspired and uplifted.
Another reason is to give local entrepreneurs a forum to develop speaking skills to enhance their interests and their careers. Authors, activists, artists, or anyone with a passion and a message are all invited to speak in a very relaxed and casual setting.
EEK! I don’t want to do public speaking!
What do Nicole Kidman, Richard Branson, Julia Roberts and Winston Churchill have in common? They’re just a few well known people who all suffered from fear of public speaking.
They didn’t let it stop them, obviously.
If the thought of an audience terrifies you, isn’t it good to know you’re in good company?
It’s proof that for many people there comes a time when the desire to overcome the fear is stronger than all the reasons not to.
And every speaker starts somewhere!
What if you could speak to an audience in a very casual and relaxed setting?
People who put themselves in front of an audience have a compelling purpose for doing so that outweighs their fear. They’re driven by an ideal that they’re passionate about and committed to.
Three people who demonstrated that quality recently participated in the Oct LIFT event.
Ria Qureshi spoke on the topic Train Your Brain For Success: 5 Steps to Develop a Winning Attitude in Business and Life
It was a great topic but the most compelling moment came when she told a story from her childhood and touched the heart of every audience member with her vulnerability.
Haida Bolton took us on an adventure to Africa with her story called Aida’s Adventures in Africa. This is a story that has been with her since she was a child and which is now available for everyone in book form from Amazon.
This was a beautiful illustration of using public speaking to make yourself better known as an author.
Our final speaker was Shannon Woode, a local artist and sacred activist, who stepped forward spontaneously to speak on a topic dear to her heart – the cause of listening to and honoring the earth, our home.
This was a true demonstration of courage.
Public speaking might not be so bad!
For others who may be interested in dipping your toes into the public speaking pool, here are some questions you could ask yourself.
What you are willing to take a stand for?
In what way do you see yourself as a gift to others?
What is the message that you are most passionate about?
Audiences want you to succeed
They want to hear your message. Mostly, they want to know that you are not perfect, that you’ve had difficult times in your life, and you’re willing to share those stories with them.
“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” ~Neil Gaiman
The next LIFT event is Friday, Nov 17, 12:15 to 1:15 pm, at the Arts Building in Gibsons.
[Update: since this event is in the past, please check the LIFT event page for the next date.]
One of the featured speakers will be Margot Grant, editor of The Coast Clarion. Sheila Cameron, local author and co-owner of FUSE Community workspace, and Johanna Rzepa, now enjoying her retirement from Coastal Health, are the other featured speakers.
Join our mailing list and be notified of Open Mic Nights and the LIFT event.
In the book Blink, author Malcom Gladwell describes some fascinating research done by psychologist Nalini Ambady. She took recordings of conversations between doctors and patients, and “content filtered” the high frequency sounds that identified the actual words so that only a form of garble was left.
After identifying four different qualities – warmth, hostility, dominance, and anxiousness – she was able to listen to just the tone of voice and predict with a high degree of accuracy which doctors were sued and which ones weren’t.
One thing is clear from this kind of research.
The quality of a voice has a profound impact on how a listener responds.
A few years ago, a voice coaching client of mine did a presentation that took many hours to prepare. She developed a power point presentation and rehearsed it many times.
However, when she stood in front of her colleagues her voice revealed her anxiety, not her knowledge.
At the end of the presentation, she felt betrayed by her own voice. In her words, “My performance did not illustrate my knowledge or the extent that I prepared. Instead I appeared nervous and unprepared.”
Why don’t our voices always reflect us in a true light?
When and why do we lose the ability to connect to our true voice?
This is how it happens.
Your thoughts and life experiences shape your internal dialogue; that sneaky little voice inside that comments on what we’re doing and saying and being.
That internal dialogue in turn affects your external dialogue, and therefore the quality of the sound you make by disconnecting you from who you really are.
A voice that is unauthentic is a learned experience.
There are a few reasons for that.
Current culture is very good at shaming people who dare to go outside the rules for what we can and can’t say.
Perhaps in the past we’ve been told we’re too much or too loud or on the opposite side of the coin, not enough.
Maybe we’ve been told our ideas are too weird or outside the box, or we’ve muted ourselves instead of taking a stand and speaking up.
Whatever the reason, it possible to have the voice you were always meant to have.
Recover your authentic voice by exploring these three questions.
Is your voice in your whole body or is it shallow and disconnected?
Is the sound of your voice congruent with the words you speak?
Does your voice align with who you are with no vocal qualities that contradict your meaning?
An honest look at these questions, perhaps with a helpful friend, the use of a recording device, or work with a voice coach, will help you recover or uncover the voice that is the real you, and achieve rapport with any audience.