Powerful advice and articles that relate to the untamed experience of the voice. Feel free to comment bomb!
|Posted by Nathalie Brewer on October 14, 2012 at 8:25 AM||comments (3)|
I recently had a private tutoring session with a confident middle aged man. He has just entered into a career as a life coach. Occasionally he has the opportunity to speak to small groups of people about the service he offers.During these talks he often feels as though he is holding back. When it comes to the point when he speaks about his service he feels himself shrinking and finds it hard to connect. Afterwards he would be left with an empty, hollow feeling. During our first session we discovered he was afraid of coming across as too contrived or sales oriented. We also discovered he was 'holding back' due to fear of how people would receive his passion, enthusiasm and excitement about his topic. He had not yet experienced being able to share his joy simultaneously with his service. Instead he felt as though he was imposing himself on others.
Does any of this sound familiar? Well you needn’t feel alone for this is a very common experience. The first question I asked this man is “What are you trying to achieve?” He initially spoke about his desire to share, impart and to give. One level beneath this was a desire to sell his product and acquire more clients. For this, he was experiencing feelings of guilt and lack of integrity to the point that it was effecting his presentations and his deep purpose.
In this article I would like to offer you three ways to address this issue froma Heart Speakers perspective.
1. Separate your passion from your offering
Public Speaking from the Heart is about knowing who you are and what you want. Often there will be a sales-based motivation for you to offer your passion. The cross-over between your sale and your passion can cause you to lose energy and confidence. For example, say you want to acquire more clients to your practice. You must first ask yourself about your ruling motivation. If your ruling motivation is to gain more clients, that is fine. But try not to mask your ruling motivation (your offering) with your motivation to inspire people about your passion. Separate them out. Focus on one thing at a time, and do them each wholeheartedly. When you are delivering the inspirational or educational part of your talk, be whole-hearted in the gift of imparting. When it is time to discuss your service, be whole-heartedin offering the gift of your unique service. People will deeply appreciate your clarity of intent and expression. This makes their decision much easier as to whether they will engage your service or to walk away feeling informed about your topic. Either way, you have been effective in the expression of both your passion and your offering.
2. You can’t ‘sell’ to the intuition
Gone are the days of the 1980’s when the use of manipulative sales techniqueswere widely effective. We have now become ultra-perceptive to the use of sales techniques and will often go out of our way to avoid purchasing a product if we suspect the use of hidden motivations. We either want it or we don’t (with no hidden gimmicks). When it comes to making an on-the-spot decision, people need to be inspired or moved to the point of making what I call ‘an intuitive purchase’.
An intuitive purchase is where we make a transaction based on something deeper than feelings or desire. Have you ever had this experience? It’s when you develop an instant connection with something and you know it is meant to be a part your life. To purchase a course or workshop is like buying a new part of your life. We want to be verified from within, that it is the right addition to make.
If your target market are people who are in tune with the intuitive purchase then you will be both ingratiated and challenged by your audience. In order to sell to this type of client you will need to treat your audience as both your student and your teacher.The best way to impart your knowledge is to be as close to it as possible within yourself. The closer you are to the source of your own wisdom, the closer other people can feel to theirs (and hence closer to their own intuition). This is what makes your offering priceless! It gives people the experience of knowing what you say is true and valid, not because you say so, but because they can feel it. The intuitive sale is a natural extension of this. The closer you are to the value of your work, the more other people will value it too.
3. Embody your knowledge
The practice of embodying your knowledge is crucial to your practice of public speaking. Confidence comes from a deeply relaxed state of embodying who you are and what you know in the full presence of others. Too often, public speaking is seen as a skill or a technique. Quite often people will band-aid their fear of public speaking with some very effective ‘tools’ such as voice projection, body language and eye contact. This seems to work for a time; however giving a well performed speech can often result in a lingering feeling of emptiness and disconnection. As a Heart Speakers coach I am constantly working to dismantle the mistaken idea that you will become a better speaker once you become more ‘confident’. In my experience, confidence does not come from utilising a technique any more than milk comes from a cardboard carton. In this new era of conscious awakening, please be cautious of learning old methods of public speaking to convey new messages of unified truth.
If you would like to more fully embody your knowledge within your public speaking experience, ask your intuition if you need to take a Heart Speakers course. Go on, try asking yourself right now! If the answer is yes, then I sincerely look forward to seeing you soon. If your answer is no, I have unwavering faith that your path will unfold just as it needs to and the appropriate guidance will come to you. It is my deepest wish for you (and your future audiences) that it does come to you; that you learn to move effortlessly from a place of clarity and intent; that your audiences will sense your gift and your service combine; and that each person who hears you speak may experience the delivery of your service as selfless, pure and above all, priceless.
|Posted by Nathalie Brewer on June 11, 2012 at 10:35 AM||comments (0)|
A healthy female speaker is much like a wild animal. She is aware and alert, absorbed and in contact with her primal senses. She can detect threat and rise into her innate sense of right and wrong. Willing to stand up for what she believes, she moves from a place of all seeing. Infused in her natural authority, she wills without command and exposes without disclosure.
She draws into the issue and enlivens her sense of what is real and unreal, sifting through the distorted and reaching for the meaningful. It is in the white heat of feeling is where she plucks her topic. Once her topic is plucked, she keeps penetrating until she strikes upon the hot spots where meaning clashes with reason and where creation is held back through tension. She knows with animal sense that it is in the shadow side where the true subject resides. She hunts the inside of subject and doesn’t stop until she draws out the weak points where truth is untold. Waiting in the shadow side of the mundane, the untold lays dormant, still and unwavering until she approaches.
She knows she has found the untold when she hears a crackling, snapping sound, as she steps the untrodden path through a forest. She seeks the undercarriage, the forked roads and the flip side where reason forgets itself and surrenders a single truth. These truths she collects like wild daisies which leap forward as if dancing in the delight of being seen. She plucks enough of them to fill her basket and then retreats to her quite den, lays them out and listens for which ones have the most longing to be told. She selects the ones with the strongest scent, for these are the ones who have been waiting the longest.
She crafts her talk based upon this scent, moving between the still points in truth. The feminine speaker has learnt to release this scent in almost every phrase. Her talk becomes like a pheromone being slowly released into the psyche of her audience. She fearlessly moves through her talk using the longing in small truths as stepping stones. Together, she and audience breathe from the same pool of air. With one breath, one movement, and a myriad of strides, she leads them, carefully and protectively through the terrain of their unstruck thoughts. The rhythm created in the space of her talk is the sound of one heart beat. Almost unaware of the process, the audience is birthed into a new depth over and over again.
She does not conclude, but rather castes off like a spider dismantling its silken web in the morning sun. She moves from her centre, where she has been perched with the patience of holding her listeners. Her limbs remain in touch with the vibration of each strand, each person. Her last words linger between finality and nostalgia. Through knowing her we have come to know something much deeper than her words. We have been moved, almost unnoticeably, toward the blue flame of our instinctual self.
|Posted by Nathalie Brewer on April 24, 2012 at 12:35 AM||comments (0)|
Your audience is more discerning than they were a year ago. So many things are calling for their attention they have to make judgment calls on the matters they can eliminate. At home they’re using their remote controls to click off DVDs, VCRs, receivers and cable boxes. It just takes them a split second.
What’s to say they won’t click you off, if only in their minds, the minute they lose interest in your meeting or trade-show presentation?
As presenters we must find a way to engage the audience and keep it tuned in.It can be a daunting task when people have so much on their minds. It’s been said that people do business with the people they know, like and trust. The same is true for getting people to listen and act on your presentation.
People have been bombarded with advertisements making them keenly aware ofmanipulation. Any kind of gimmick that used to draw people in now turns them off. A razzle-dazzle PowerPoint display isn’t enough to keep people engaged.The recent business scandals are fresh in everyone’s minds making meaningful,hype-free content more essential than ever. If your presentation has been referred to as a “dog and pony show,” it’s not a compliment. This phraseactually means a glitzy show lacking content. It’s best left for a small-timecircus, not your time-pressured audience who’s grown weary of tricks.
Congruency is another factor of developing trust. I once saw a politician sayto the crowd, “My goal is to bring us all together.” While he voiced it, his hands pushed away from his body. It wasn’t congruent, and my level of trust for him began to slip.
Words may indicate one thing, but if it isn’t what you truly believe your bodywill scream and declare your underlying thoughts. They are subtle messages, butyour audience notices them. It could be as simple as an audience member askingthe presenter if he has time for a question. The presenter impatiently looksdown at his watch while saying a polite “Sure.”
You know what they really mean. Most of the time they don’t even see what timeit is. It’s just a way for them to hint to you, “I really don’t have time, butI don’t know how to tell you.”
People believe body language. Make sure it’s congruent with your words. It mayseem like a trivial concern in our fast-paced society, but any incongruence can be the seed of audience apprehension. You want to keep them focused on yourc ontent, not wondering about mixed messages
Another way to build trust is through clarity. Are we crystal clear with our intentions? Do we tell them from the beginning why we’re there and what we hopeto gain by making the presentation? Is our intention to persuade, inform or inspire? Once we have clarified our intention, the audience can relax into listening to the content
Without taking the time to get perfectly clear on our intention, the lack of clarity will be reflected in the rest of the talk. If you can’t write your perfectly clear intention on the back of a business card, you’ve got a ways to go.
You’re speaking because you are the expert.
As the expert you’ll need to bring a well- balanced perspective. Acknowledge the concerns that may be in the minds of the audience. An overly optimistic one-wayapproach can be met with hesitation. People will be reassured when they know you’ve considered more than one angle. This style of addressing concerns while staying strongly grounded in your recommendation adds to the atmosphere of trust.
When you bring authenticity, congruency, clarity and multidimensional thinking into your presentation you set the stage for the highest level of trust.
The next element in engaging your audience is allowing people to know you. Stay with me. I’m not asking you to go overboard in the touchy feely arena! Asaudience members most of us can remember what it’s like to listen to speakerswho say way too much about themselves and their personal lives.
But how well do you really feel you know someone who is just rattling off facts and figures? Their intelligence level may be very high but remember, “People do business with people they know, like and trust,” Sharing something about whoyou are and how you relate to them will draw them into your presentation.
Recently, I heard a CEO share a camping experience and how it related to whathe learned about business. He became a fellow human being rather than the person who dictated the company’s mission statement. It was much easier for hisaudience to relate to him. Dare to share one of your own stories and how itrelates to your subject matter. Then watch your audience open up and work with you rather than against you.
OK, we’ve talked about building trust and allowing people to know you. Now howdo you get them to like you? Many presenters are overly concerned with receiving acceptance and approval from the audience. In striving too hard to beliked just the opposite can happen.
Distracting habits can creep into the best-dressed executive’s presentation without them even knowing it. Anything that takes away from your natural presence such as a forced smile, jingling change in the pocket or any of the other habits must be addressed.
Increase your like ability by being yourself. The more relaxed you are the morethey can relax. But keep in mind ... you want to be your best self, not a self that goes on automatic with habits of the past
A good presentation can win people’s trust and motivate them to act. One hourin front of a group can be the difference between people working with you oragainst you. Subtle changes in your presenting style are well worth the time and attention. Your speaking speaks for itself.
|Posted by Nathalie Brewer on March 27, 2012 at 12:30 AM||comments (0)|
I have been speaking in front of audiences for around 20 years or so. Recently I came in contact with the Heart Speakers Network. Upon talking to Nathalie Brewer about public speaking from the heart, I realised that never before have I been asked to share my experience of speaking in front of an audience when you are blind.
So, I will try the best I can to express the feeling of speaking without sight.
When I did have sight before the age of fifteen or so, I always found it difficult to look someone in the eye. Who knows, maybe I was hiding something or perhaps I was being dishonest about some fact or info, or feeling guilty about some crime I had just committed.
I grew up in a rough neighbourhood where there were regular fights and gangs. One of those fights, involved me and another high school friend. Fighting with an enemy was one thing, but to fight with an actual friend was a horrible experience which I wouldn't wish to go through ever again particularly when that friend through a punch that changed my life forever. Eventually it led to me completely losing my precious sight. I won't talk about my journey without sight in this article, I will aim to reflect on what it feels like when you speak to a crowd and you can't see any of their reactions.
We automatically become suspicious when people don't look you in the eye when you are speaking to them. I believe in my case, I was always self conscious and lacked a great deal of self esteem and so I avoided attention to myself whenever possible.
There must be a dozen reasons why people cannot make eye contact in conversations. Although, for me, it’s been far too long for me to remember what it was like when I could see and remember body language and how people responded to how I talk to them. So, today, eye contact, body language and other visual cues, mean something entirely different for me, especially when speaking in front of an audience.
In the beginning, when I would hear sounds coming from either the audience or other sources, e.g. creeks in doorframes, chairs, or a slamming door, I would be extraordinarily aware of these noises, so much so, that they sometimes stopped me in my tracks when I was in the middle of a talk or presentation.
I believe the only way to overcome these distractions, was to make sure I was so clear on my topic, so watertight on the purpose of my talk, so that it didn't matter when or where these annoying distractions appeared. The mistake was, trying to make my talk ‘word perfect’. In recollection, talks that were word perfect, were and are, unnatural.
If you think of how we speak to eachother, one on one, we don't try and make our conversation word perfect. There are mistakes, pauses and even humorous comments being made when we just speak ordinarily to each other. Once I realised this fact, noisy distractions were much easier to handle during a talk. So the more natural you are about your presentation, the more relaxed the audience will be and the more attentive they are, which in turn can reduce the noisefactor during the presentation.
Sometimes, I speak to primary school children. During my talk, we focus on senses. When we come to the topic of sound, I ask the children to close their eyes and listen very carefully to the different sounds around the room and beyond. Afterwards I probe the children to tell me what they heard. It is always surprising how much they would pickup by listening and being quiet at the same time. I'm always aware of breathing sounds coming from the children during this exercise of silence. The breathing is excited because the children are straining to hear something that the next person may not be able to hear. So, apart from the breathing, the room becomes very tranquil.
Often I would be asked the question,"are your senses better than those who are sighted?” My response was, no not at all. My senses are more aware of what my surroundings are, because they are always at work.
It’s amazing how the human body compensates after the loss of one of the senses. But these senses don't automatically becomemore attuned, they just jump into action as we need them in order to manage our lives. In other words, if after losing my sight, I was to just stay at home and never go out again, my senses would be restricted to the very small world I was living in.
So with the children, the silence when everyone is concentrating was so relaxing to experience. When we are silent in our own company, it is totally different from when we become silent in the company of many people as a group. You are aware of the presence of many human beings coming together as one thought and one purpose. Silence in this way can tighten our senses to the point of hearing things from a different perspective.
Without the eye contact with me, children sometimes can be a little distracted. Either I'm not holding their attention or there is something happening in the room which some of the children are focusing on. Of course I can't see what that would be, so, I give the children the benefit of the doubt. I gently smile int heir direction as I slowly make my way towards where the distracted children are sitting and give them my personal attention as if I am personally talking to them as if they are the only thing that matters in the room at the time.
It’s beautiful to hear their little distractions slowly disappear and the room become completely silent again with only the sound of my voice being carried toward them as they concentrate on what I am saying.
I have also experienced the situation when speaking to high school children. Sometimes when I am getting ready to start speaking, almost all of the high school students are speaking loud and not paying attention to the person who is introducing me. The way I handle this situation, is that I begin with a very soft voice, barely audible. Almost immediately, the students at the front of the class are hushing the once behind them, complaining that they can't hear me. So, I don't have to do all the hard work of hushing the students, its being done for me! The room becomes silent, beginning from the front of the room and rolling back to the end of the room. Once I feel this silence I then slowly raise my voice to a level which is comfortable and audible for everyone in the room and I can then take control of the situation.
Maybe, you would control noise differently when you can see and have eye contact with the students with facial expressions etc, but with me, it totally dependends on sound. Now I can't say if these techniques will work with sighted people, although Nathalie assures me that moving from the silence is the secret to public speaking from the heart. I have simply taught myself these techniques over the years. It’s called survival.
Finally, when I prepare for a presentation, I like the room being described to me, how the chairs are set up, where people are coming in and out. Also, I like to walk around the stage andget a sense of size and listen to my own voice and the acoustics bouncing back at me.
My voice and how I use it, is a big factor in my talk. There is a certain sound and timber in my voice I like to hear during my talk. It’s like a musical instrument. So, like a musical instrument, we need to tune our voices up. This means, that it’s important tospend a few minutes before hand practising some of the talk without anyone there. Of course, your voice will sound different when the room is full. This you get use to in time.
There are those who act in silent movies and no sound is coming out of their voice, thus they are using their other senses to get the message across. My advice is to use your senses as much as possible and even try and speak sometimes with a blind fold to make your other senses work harder. Remember, today, your audiences are very diverse, rangingfrom people with little or no sight, to those with language or literacy issues.It’s not enough that we just use one or two senses we must encompass all senses, all tools at our disposal to speak to a wide range of people.
Yes its hard work, but the rewards are plenty. Be honest when you speak and speak the truth and your audience will appreciate your hard work, as you move them from one emotion to another. Audiences may not remember everything they have seen and heard, but they will remember how you made them feel.
If there is any aspect of this article you wish for me to expand on in the future, please don't hesitate in contacting me. I hope I haven't left you all in the dark and there is some sense in my talking about sense without sight.
|Posted by Nathalie Brewer on January 4, 2012 at 6:15 AM||comments (0)|
Who knows what essence of a written or spoken word is absorbed by the mind and the heart or what imprint these words leave upon our souls. Like tiny pieces of an enormous puzzle called The Song of Life, perhaps its lyrics are scattered, here and there, throughout history—preserved by time and waiting patiently for the perfect moment to join together as one extraordinary, yet very simple, message.
I’ve often wondered what influence our voices have on the world as a whole and what it would sound like if many voices, past and present, came together as one song. Would the great secrets of our distinguished universe suddenly be revealed if the tiny bits and pieces of thought and language throughout time could be gathered into one melodious statement? And, is it possible that one such statement could apply to all of humanity—every person on Earth—no exceptions? What if The Song of Life, in its entirety, is but a single statement—a statement so euphorically brilliant that even the masters marvel at its magnificence? And what if that notoriously elusive mystery we call “our purpose in life” is as simple as each of us bringing one unique word to that statement? What then? What great truth would emerge if we all suddenly knew what our “word” was, and someone came along and fit all of the words neatly together, revealing the secret of our existence with one, life changing statement—a statement so bold, and so pure and so powerful that it would light up every dark corner of the world?
Perhaps because I am a poet, I find the composing of a lyrical destiny not so very difficult to imagine. If it is true that we have come here for a reason, and if it is true that the reason each of us is born is to give something of ourselves to the world, adding to the spiritual evolution of humanity—then assuming we each carry one word of the song, or one piece of the puzzle, is not an uncommon thought at all.
Envision this: before we are born, we are each given a word to bring with us to Earth. Our only purpose for being on the planet is to express that one word—just express it, nothing else. We don’t have to figure out how, or when, or where it will fit into the great Song of Life; all we are required to do is know what it is and hand it over to the “Song of Life Department” with unmitigated trust at the perfect point in time, and BINGO, the great secret of life appears in one, easy-to-understand message.
Now envision this: somewhere along the path of life you lose your word. Or you forget what it is. Or you know what it is, but you have “expressing-it" issues, or worse, you have “I-just-can’t-let-it-go” issues. Bad news—The Song of Life Department needs every single word or no one gets to sing the whole song, and regretfully, we miss the message that is intended for all of us.
Suddenly it becomes very apparent that every word counts. Every single word is important—your word is just as valuable to the composition of the song as Gandhi’s word or Buddha’s word or Mother Theresa’s word. Never underestimate the value of your word by thinking that other words, possibly bigger words, are better than the one assigned to you.
All words are created equal, no exceptions. Thus, if you’re thinking your word doesn’t count, know that it does, and in a very big way! The spiritual integrity of the entire world—all of humanity—is counting on you and your word. There is not one word that can be replaced with another, so if you’ve lost yours, please ask someone to help you find it and don’t give up until you do. If you’ve forgotten it—focus, focus, focus! You’ll remember what it is—we’re all cheering for you! If you know what it is, but you have “expressing-it” issues, simply close your eyes, take a deep breath of courage, and stand up and say your word!
And if, by chance, you have the dreaded “I-just-can’t-let-it-go” syndrome—please, for your own sake and the sake of humanity, give it up! Believe me, after you’ve carried it around for the better part of a lifetime, that one word gets really, really heavy. So hand it over with enthusiasm and grace; your word is part of the greatest message on Earth, and it was given to you because you have the ability to express it more beautifully and more eloquently than any other person in the world. Let it be your gift of strength and courage to others. The most important part of the message is in your hands, your heart, your soul—and it always has been. It was given to you before you were even born; you’ve had it all along and sharing it only makes it more valuable, because the song is impossible without you.
Heather K. O'Hara is an award-winning poet and author of
AXIS, The Song in the Center of the Soul
and Living on Level 7, Choosing a Life with a View
Visit her website today and sign up for her free, worldwide, monthly newsletter,
"A Touch of Grace" from Heather O'Hara,
|Posted by Nathalie Brewer on January 4, 2012 at 5:55 AM||comments (0)|
At a Leadership Presence Training, Elizabeth Bader, Bay Area mediator, author, and mediation trainer, shared with us her radical approach to training professional mediators.
Early in her practice Elizabeth mediated a high-stakes, high-conflict dispute involving many people and many millions of dollars. The case had national, and even international ramifications. At one point her client turned on her when an offer was made that he took to be insulting. He became furious with her, the other side and the entire proceeding. It turned out later that he was actually okay with the offer itself, but that he had been triggered by what he perceived to be a slight to the "somebody" he took himself to be.
As she held the space in those turbulent minutes with everything at stake, Elizabeth found she was allowing herself to become "nobody," even dropping her identity as "mediator." Had she tried at that point to mediate "by the book," all could easily have been lost. But by her simply hanging out in the state of not knowing at the meeting, while also responding calmly to the client's concerns, the client was able to move toward calm, toward his own "nobody-ness."
"This realization opened me up to a whole new way of seeing mediation, an approach to helping people resolve conflict that I had not heard of, a whole vista to explore," says Elizabeth, who now teaches mediators that they are capable of being in nobody: "They [the clients] will feel a lot more comfortable being there with you. Being nobody means giving up their agenda, releasing self-identification with the conflict, and discovering what can actually work. If you can hang out in nobody with them, that's when the conflict can resolve.
"There's a continuum between being nobody and being someboy, and the price people pay for being somebody is generally a lot of conflict with everyone else. Being nobody is not a popular thing, but it's actually one of the most fulfilling places you can ever experience. That's where peace is, when you land in nobody and you're just doing what needs to be done."
The practice of accessing the luxury of being nobody in front of a group, allows you to start there and immediately drop back into that state when called for. This is the grounded place from where you can trust yourself to respond clearly and powerfully in whatever professional role the situation calls for. Performance anxiety and self-consciousness is only about taking yourself to be somebody or other with whom it is not useful to identify.
This idea is akin to the Buddhist notion of "emptying oneself," but I like the language of "going to nobody" because that place is instantly available without having to jettison anything. And as Elizabeth reminds me, "There are many levels of nobody within yourself to get familiar with, and my favorite place is hanging out with others in nobody."
As you expand your capacity to be in nobody around others, they feel safer to relax into theirs. And that's the place where the best business is done, and great pleasure is had.
|Posted by Nathalie Brewer on January 4, 2012 at 5:50 AM||comments (0)|
Next time you are in the audience of a magnificent speaker, steal a look around you and notice the faces. You might be surprised to see that almost all appear neutral, even somber, rather than in lively rapt attention as you might have assumed.
You see, an authentic speaker puts audience members at ease enough to relax their faces, listen deeply, and process within. As their facades dissolve, the weariness, turmoil, or whatever is under the surface shows through.
Why is it important to know that the brilliance of a speaker (aside from those who specialize in evoking laughter or tears) does not register on the faces of their listeners? Because if you are looking for/attached to/expecting any response at all in your audience, you will not have a moment of ease in front of a group.
I had terminal stage fright most of my life because I habitually projected contempt and disinterest onto the same expressions that I now see as supportive. When I failed to see nods of recognition I assumed the worst and went about living down to that assumption.
This is why the first guideline at a Speaking Circle is for the listeners to be in neutral Relational Presence with the person up front and abstain from giving validation signals, while maintaining positive regard for the person. This is very difficult at first for some, both as listener and person up front, but critical for all in dissolving self-consciousness and performance anxiety and moving into powerful ease with groups.
Only when I was no longer seeking approval in the eyes of my audience could I see the exquisite beauty of the rapt attention they had in their hearts for me.
|Posted by Nathalie Brewer on July 7, 2011 at 7:18 AM||comments (1)|
All eyes are on you when you are standing in front of everyone. You COULD think that they are there to judge you. In fact, that is a misconception that will not serve you. The truth is your audience WANTS you to do well! They have dedicated a portion of their day to hear you speak...of course they want you to succeed because if you succeed so do they! Remember…
1. They are there to hear what you have to say. YOU! Not something they could have read online or in a book. They want to hear about your unique approach with your unique flavour!
2. In almost every presentation, there's a strong chance that someone in the room really likes you and is silently cheering you on. You will quickly be able to see who they are (they are the one with a particular shinyness to them). Allow yourself to go into a feed-back loop with them. Look to them for warm affirmations which they are so willing to give. I see these people as occupying a ‘warm spot’ in the audience (there are also ‘cold spots’ but more about that later).
3. You are not there to teach anyone...ever! It is not your job to be the expertand to ‘know it all’. Approach your audience with a respectful belief that they already know (even if only intuitively) Your job is to re-frame their knowing...to bring it out and allow them to experience their inner knowing in a different way.
4. Give yourself permission to breath. Take pauses. Make mistakes. Smile. The more human you are, the more you give your audience permission to be the same!
Remember...your audience is not a group! It ismade up of individuals who are all unique in the way they listen and contribute to hearing you speak. Let yourself believe that they are open, receptive and willing to hear.