Your ego has become a wall between yourself and me. You're not really concerned about me, are you? You're mostly concerned about whether or not this speech is really working... about whether or not you're doing a good job. You're really afraid that I will not applaud, aren't you? You're afraid that I won't laugh at your jokes or cry over your emotional anecdotes. You are so caught up in the issue of how I am going to receive your speech, you haven't thought much about me at all. I might have loved you, but you are so caught up in self-love that mine is really unnecessary. If I don't give you my attention, it's because I feel so unnecessary here.” (Calvin Miller, “The Empowered Communicator”)
I am a bit addicted to perfection. I used to make sure every speech came off perfectly. Word for word. I received applause. But no one came up to me days, weeks or months later to tell me that they applied the message that I gave.
That happens much more often now.
Yes, I still write and practice my speeches.
Yes, I am still concerned about phraseology and storytelling skills.
Yes, I still record my speeches to check for audience involvement and delivery skills.
But my number ONE reason for speaking is to give my listeners a Call to Action. One next step that they can implement that will change their lives. Advice that they will follow and use in their lives.
And what's the biggest thrill that I get? When someone says that they remember my message from months ago, thought about an area of their life that they could implement it, and changed their lives for the better.
What message do people need to hear?
What have you overcome that others need a roadmap to?
What pain is out there that needs to be healed?
Just think of what you need to share...and you won't be half as scared to speak anymore.
I repeat a mantra to myself before I speak now...
Release the Need to be Accepted, Nothing needs to be Protected,
Tell THEM what they need to Hear, Just be giving, forget your Fear.
Go out there and share
Kwesi Millington helps speakers 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.