Finding Verbal Courage: How to Become a More Natural Speaker

August 3, 2016

[sieghard m. ennulat/shutterstock]
[sieghard m. ennulat/shutterstock]

I was stressing over an upcoming keynote when my husband asked me why I was so worked up about it. “There will be over 1,000 people there,” I told him. “So what,” he wondered out loud. “When you were on TV, you used to speak to millions of people and it never bothered you.”

“Well, that’s different,” I informed him. “I didn’t have to look at them!”

That’s when the lightbulb went off. Yes, I make my living teaching people how to become better communicators, and for the most part I’m a confident speaker. But his remarks sparked a new level of understanding regarding our clients. It’s far easier to present to people when you don’t have to look them in the eye. And it’s far less nerve-racking when people are not staring back at you.

Compared to what our clients must do on platforms and in meetings in the glare of judgmental eyeballs, talking to a television camera is a cinch. Unlike a real audience, the camera doesn’t react. It doesn’t scowl, text, sleep or stare back at you in defiance.

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