Your speaking skills - Free personal report
You have a message of change that’s deeply important to you. Right? You want to speak it out in public. You want to share this message, but it makes you nervous. The opportunity to speak it out is important to you; perhaps even life-changing. The idea of that makes you even more nervous. How do you find enough confidence in your message of change to share it with others? Let's investigate the key part of you that will help you speak your message of change...
When we find our message of change (that's the real message of change, not the one we think we're supposed to have because it sounds good), something incredible happens. On the one hand you're inspired. You have a message to share that could profoundly change people's lives for the better. But on the other hand, it's incredibly personal, sensitive and you're not sure if you should share it (that's how you know it's your real message of change).
The most natural reaction when we find our message of change is to want to run far away, to push the nerves all the way away. Your gut might tell you to flee back to that calm comfort zone, where you risk less and can feel safe. This is completely normal – it’s just the fight or flight mechanism - that old physiological mechanism that tells us to hop it when we're in danger.
The fight or flight mechanism has served us for all those millennia when sabre tooth tigers and, erm, dinosaurs were out to get us (at least in my version of history). Even though it's not so common that we'll come face-to-face with a tooth-gnashing predator, we still have that mechanism build into our biology.
The most natural reaction when we find our message of change is to want to run far away, to push the nerves all the way away
Yet somewhere in-between nerves and acting upon them is a twilight place where a quiet little voice lives. This is the single most important thing that will help you speak your message of change. It is a voice that knows - on a deep level - who you are, what you want and what your sense of purpose on this planet is.
This is the voice that I call the Quiet Voice of Certainty and it's essential for giving you confidence in your message of change.
The Quiet Voice of Certainty belongs to that special place inside you where the fear of change becomes so much less than the fear of staying the same. It's this voice that tells you "I know my message of change and I must share it."
This Quiet Voice is, owing to its quietness, almost always usually obscured. After all, nerves bring a whole circus into town; a circus of self-doubt, hoopla and neurotic energy. A barrage of circus clowns honk "you can'ts" and "what if's" and "no way's" that obstruct your inner view and attempt to silence your Quiet Voice and obscure your message of change.
If you listen for a moment, through the cacophony; if you let the dust settle, you’ll hear the Quiet Voice of Certainty.
“It's ok.” The quiet voice of certainty will tell you.
“What?!!?!?! What on earth do you mean?! I’m terrified! This is all going to go horribly wrong! The world is about to end!!! This is too big! They won't get my message of change! You can’t possibly imagine I should actually say this?!” You’ll probably reply.
“Yes.” The quiet voice of certainty will tell you.
Of course, you’ll feel frustrated, baffled, because it’s not making much sense – and anyhow, it doesn’t matter, because the elephants have just escaped from the pen and they’re marching towards your stomach and now you feel sick. Overwhelmed and overachieving, the circus rolls into town.
So you carry on with the inner negative mojo show. The circus needs so much attention you see – there’s a lion gnawing through its cage, a weeping weightlifter, and a troop of monkeys on the loose who look like trouble. Juggling insecurities with knives are in the center ring shouting "No no NO... you can't go... on with that speech! You can't let your message out. Too risky!".
The Quiet Voice of Certainty won’t shout above the noise. Oh, no. But don’t imagine it’s shy. Don’t imagine it’s weak. Don't you for a second dare to think that this Quiet Voice will let that precious message of change go to the wayside. It just won't.
In truth, the Quiet Voice of Certainty is your most enduring source of strength. It has the power to cut through fear and self-doubt and transform the energy of panic into the energy of greatness. It’s patient. It’s present. And it’s deeply wise. Your job is to listen. Take a breath. Feel that calm... if but just for a moment... and really, really, listen. Listen as if your entire message of change depends on it, for of course it does. Listen with all that you are.
The Quiet Voice is your confidence and your key to being able to speak your message of change. The circus is so last year. Quiet and calm is true power.
Curious about your current public speaking level? Take the Ginger self assessment quiz to learn about your strengths and weaknesses in 6 key areas of public speaking.Take the Self Assessment