Making space for public speaking
One thing I love about my work is that I never stop learning. My clients inspire me the most. During my fifth meeting with a coaching client this week, he told me how his feelings about public speaking have transformed as a result of our work: “I realized that speaking to a group is something I can make space for, versus being this peak I have to get over.”
That made me so happy, I got tears in my eyes. But he’s right: Public speaking is often seen as this big, scary, overwhelming, barely-surmountable thing. I think part of that has to do with how the skill of presenting is, well, presented to us in our lives. Comedians joke about how much people hate public speaking. Speech (i.e., Giving Presentations) was a required class when I was in high school. “Requirements” are never presented as, “Hey, fun thing to do!” It’s more like, “You HAVE to do this.” So no wonder a majority of us see speaking before a group as a daunting task.
So how do you get to that “making space” place when you feel like a presentation is daunting?
Re-frame how you’re viewing the presentation. Remember that a presentation is just a conversation on a different scale.
What’s your purpose? Having a purpose will give you a focus, and will provide clarity for your audience.
Practice. Even if it’s just you, by yourself, in a room. Many people struggle with presenting because they don’t take the time to rehearse. And when you rehearse, you’re creating that space.
My client was talking about making space for speaking in his mind - and that’s one way he has gotten a better handle on it, too. And no surprise - another thing he told me during our session was that he now had three talks coming up in the next month. (Yay!!!!)
I love my job.