These are the exact words a potential client spoke to me as she shared the increasing anxiety and discomfort she experiences during presentations and trainings that are now a part of her job responsibility. During our conversation, this capable individual exuded calm, excellent listening and feedback skills and a genuine interest in self-reflection and improvement. I know already that the very qualities that precipitated her call and research (I was one of several consultants she spoke with) will serve her well in tackling the weight that every “non-professional” speaker experiences on some point on the anxiety spectrum. My perspective with this client focused on the following…
Respect The issue of anxiety and fear is so common, so essentially “generic” that we (at Speakwell Partners) have extra sensitive antennae and attentiveness for the power of this issue. It is nothing that we address blithely and anyone who candidly states this truth has my respect and support.
Hope I know that with patience, practice, hard work and good reflective mirroring, we can reframe, release and redefine the sack on the back. Wishful thinking or illusory self-definition (“But I am a total introvert!”) are simply not facts in the process.
Humor When I asked what her experience is when her trainings are over, she replied, “I’m relieved and wish I never had to do it again!” We shared a good laugh over that and I told her I was definitely going to use her quote as my next blog headline. Lightening the load with humor is key! We all tend to take ourselves seriously (a double-edged sword) and laughter relieves the intensity.
Yesterday my yoga teacher said, “We are moving away from perfection toward experience.” This struck me immediately as a guiding principle that SpeakWell Partners brings to the sack on the back and to the process of developing comfort, cogency and confidence in public speaking. Focusing on experience over illusory perfection jolts the system into the present, the only place we can realize change.