Get over a fear of public speaking by speaking from the heart ?
Time has frozen. All eyes lock on you. In that moment the room has gone quiet, but all you hear is the deafening drumbeat of your heart in your ears taking over where words used to be. Your mouth is dry. Your knees weak. Your hands tremble. And your body functions… well, let’s not go there! Anything sensible or vaguely clever that you had to share 5 minutes ago has turned to a mush of nonsense in your head. You shoot a look to the door planning the quickest escape route before any more damage is done. They are going to find you out this time. Surely this time, they are going to realise just what a fraud you really are.
Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever had to stand up and present at work, or given a speech and gone through one or more of these symptoms of being put on show for the world to judge?
This was me. This was me with a grown up career presenting to a room full of executives, or my peers, or even when the cleaner was working around us in the boardroom. It didn’t really who it was, if I had to stand up in front of anyone and give a talk, or present, I would turn to mush… actual mush. Not exactly inspiring when you’ve got to persuade people to buy into you and your ideas. That look of sheer horror has never really evoked confidence in your abilities. It’s something I struggle with for years.
When I retrained as a coach, I received business advice from a successful entrepreneur: “One of the best ways you are going to get clients is by getting up on a stage and speaking as much as you possibly can.” He said with an air as though he’d never had an inch of self doubt in his entire life.
“Getting up on stage and speaking as much as you possibly can.” “Well, surely I could just pack this all in and settle for a quieter life, just so that I didn’t have to do that.” chattered the monkey mind. “Let’s do this.” said my soul.
Fast forward two years, I’ve been on stage in front of 400 people at Bestival , travelled back from delivering talks and workshops on Obonjan in Croatia, as well as getting miked up and delivering talks on stage at Bloomberg, Higher Selfie, and many, many more, sharing my work and my voice on living a creative life. It’s been an incredible road to get here, and I now look forward to the next gig with excitement instead of crippling fear. And how did I do it? Well I did it by working through some incredibly powerful neuro linguistic programming NLP techniques, as well as dropping out of my head and into my body to connect with my heart.
Don’t let the heart rule the head the old saying goes
I disagree. Too often we are in a constant state of head dwelling. I know I was. I still can be sometimes. We can get so stuck at the top of our bodies that it can feel as though you’re completely detached from the rest of you. I imagine us as discombobulated beings: walking heads running around trying to run the show, over-analysing, over-thinking, not tuned in to the wisdom of our bodies. “Up there for thinking, and down there for dancing”. As the old saying goes. Well I choose to dance to the rhythm of my heartbeat.
When we talk from the heart we connect with the heart
We have many different voices and ways of communicating with each other. When we talk from our heads, we talk to other people’s heads. When we talk from the heart, we connect with other people’s hearts. When we talk from the soul, we connect with other’s souls. There’s a different tone and vibration to how you say what you do. So much so, that sometimes, you don’t even need to speak to be able to connect to your audience, wherever they are.
When I’m on stage now I talk with from my heart about my experiences, and our experiences in the world, which make it so easy for people listening to connect with.
When you talk from the heart you can’t be wrong
When talking from the heart you are speaking your truth, and that can never be wrong. OK, some people may not always connect with that, and that’s OK. We’re all on our own journey, but there may be something in what you’re sharing, just one thing that they need to hear. They may not be aware of it, or it may pop up years later, it doesn’t matter. That’s not for you to concern yourself with. All you have to do is stand in your truth and speak from your heart and your experiences.
There’s 6 inches to travel from the head to the heart
In practices such as yoga you will often be taught this as a loving mantra. Only 6 inches will take you away from the chattering monkey mind of fear into the loving, welcoming energy of the heart space. When I set out on my journey with Qoya teacher training, this is exactly what I set to achieve. I wanted to drop into my heart space and re-connect with who I could really be in my full authenticity. And, this is what I did, unfurling petal by petal to connect back to my true essence and with it my full creative expression in its wildest colours.