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Doreen Hamilton, Guest Author
Whether you are giving a presentation at work, sharing your opinion at a meeting, or talking to someone one-on-one, you are expressing yourself.
The question is, do you feel comfortable and confident being who you are? These 7 steps help you focus on what really matters in any communication-your authentic self.
1. BE SILENT – always start from a place of silence. Quiet yourself. Being comfortable without any words is powerful.
2. BE PRESENT – Focus on the current moment. Let go of concerns about what has happened before or what might happen in the future.
3. BE AWARE – Use your eyes to take in the people you are with. Don’t avoid looking directly at them. Gaze softly and let them see you.
4. BE ATTUNED – Listen to those who are listening to you. Listen to yourself before, during, and after the words are spoken.
5. BE AFFIRMNG – Look for the best in others. See the good that is within and don’t get stuck on what they might be thinking.
6. BE CONNECTED – Be with one person at a time and be conversational. Speaking to a group at large dissipates your energy.
7. BE YOURSELF – The most powerful gift is you. Tap into who you are to allow your authentic voice to come forth.
How Conventional Public Speaking Training Misses the Point
Conventional public speaking training tells people who are afraid of audiences to look at a spot on the back of the wall and avoid the listeners. The problem with this technique is that the wall isn’t interested in your message and it won’t give you a response. You miss the opportunity to hand-deliver your words and be with people as they receive them.
Ignoring the audience by focusing your attention somewhere else leaves your listeners out of the relationship you could be creating. “Which do you think is going to give you something back, the ceiling or the person you’re talking to?” asks Gary Genard of Public Speaking International.
When You Avoid Looking, You Avoid Connection
When you are nervous and your anxiety is high, looking someone in the eye can be a distraction. You might see judgment or indifference or some other negative response. But when you avoid directly engaging with people, you lose connection with them. The truth is that they want you to relate to them; they want your attention. So include your listeners in the conversation. They will appreciate it if you are a real person, a genuine human being who communicates more completely. Take the risk and look at them.
Practice a New and Gentler Way of Thinking About “Eye Contact.”
1. Soften your gaze
2. Let your eyes be relaxed
3. Let them land softly on your listeners
4. Allow the audience to be able to look you straight in the eye, to see your sincerity and the bright beam of energy that shines from your essential self.
Copyright © 2011 – Doreen Hamilton. Reprinted with permission. Doreen Hamilton, Ph.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over twenty-five years of experience with individuals, couples, and groups. Now specializing in the treatment of anxiety caused by the fear of speaking, she offers psychotherapy, private coaching, Speaking Circles®, workshops and Teleclasses. She also leads authentic communication seminars throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com
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