“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” (George S. Patton)
Do you have courage? As a speaker, your answer is absolutely yes. Just standing up on stage as we know, is something that most people will never attempt to do. However, speaking is the start of courage – what you speak about is when it really turns to bravery.
There are still speakers that will not touch certain topics in their own lives. That is a shame because they are missing out on an opportunity for true connection with their audience. When you get personal, you can pull your audience in at a much greater level.
Here are 3 areas of courage to consider:
The Courage to VIEW
Start with YOU. Start with these 3 questions: (1) Who are you (your beliefs and core values)?, (2) Why are you that way (the stories that made you firmly the way you are)?, and (3) What were the moments that you consider major turning points in your life (good or bad)?
Start by viewing yourself and who you are. When you stand in front of people knowing exactly what you are about and you speak to that, you generate nothing but pure power.
The Courage to VENTURE
When I was charged with a crime that I did not commit in 2011, the last thing that I wanted to do was to talk about it. My policing career was at stake, and my name was being dragged through the mud on the internet. It took me 4 years to start talking about it, but once I did, I felt as if I could truly, finally exhale. The best part was that not only did I feel relief, but numerous people have come up to me with their own stories, and have started to reach out and speak about the tribulations that they have had as well.
When you get Private and Personal, you empower others to go Public.
Don't be afraid to venture into those uncomfortable areas of your life. Speak about them. Someone needs to hear.
The Courage to be VULNERABLE
I once spoke to a group about my father's death (CLICK HERE FOR THE SPEECH). The speech was well received, however I could have improved on my delivery. Especially in one area – when my mother gave me the news that my father had passed. The line that I delivered was effective, however I should have held onto the emotion of that moment in silence for a longer time. Often, we like to brush past painful or uncomfortable moments when we talk to people in an effort not to bring them down. After all, no one likes a negative person. However, when you speak, be vulnerable during painful moments on stage. Your speech should be like a roller coaster, providing ups and downs (make sure that you end on the “up”!). But when you are down, don't be afraid to linger there to let the audience feel your vulnerability. How long should you linger? Long enough to let the feeling set in.
Vulnerability leads to Victory on stage...and in life.
The first step of courage when speaking is stepping on the stage. Now, let's get to the second step....The “3V” approach to courage ON stage.
Kwesi Millington helps speakers, presenters and youth to connect with their audiences and master their messages using the power of storytelling in their speeches & presentations. He is a Certified Public Speaking Coach & Youth Mentor.