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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Public Speaking

When I was younger I did a lot of theatre.
That might make one assume I have no problems standing in front of a group of people and being the center of attention; but one would be wrong for that assumption.
I LOVE working in a theatre. There is a magic about the show and an energy about the audience as the house fills. I HATE being on stage. I have spent many hours over many shows building sets or helping with lights and sound setup. I like being involved, but not noticed.

Public speaking, like acting, is not my strong suit. I am very out of my element when doing it.

I know, however, the importance of being able to speak in public. It is a skill EVERYONE should develop. EVERYONE will encounter a need to do it at some point in their life if they wish to have a position that requires any responsibility. It might be "public" speaking to a group of coworkers. It might be to some managers in your company. It might be as an actor in a Shakespearean play. It also might be speaking to the general public.

It is important to cultivate this skill so that you CAN do it when you need to: regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you feel.

I am not a fan of it, yet I presented this afternoon to 300+ 12-14 year olds. I am writing this post having just presented to a similar number of the parents of those children. In about 45 minutes I have to present to another group of parents. Does this make me comfortable? Not at all. I do take pride in knowing I CAN make the presentation. I take pride in the fact that I can speak to a 600+ seat auditorium without needing a microphone. I take pride in the fact that I can convey the information that is needed because I can control my anxiety about the situation.

In short: I dislike speaking to groups of people, but I CAN. I can do it and I can do it well. That means my ability to speak publicly proves I have TWO important skills: public speaking AND mastery over my anxiety.

1 comment:

  1. That is great, public speaking is very important, but even MORE important is battling that anxiety about it. I think that's half the battle right there. Keep up the posting! I'm enjoying it. :)