I’m a presentation skills/voice technique expert. I teach women how to make captivating and engaging presentations but what I’ve discovered over the years is that what I really help women do is run to the roar.
What does that mean? Well, nine times out of ten when a woman comes to see me for help with presentations what I quickly discover is that what they really need help with is learning how to be confident and have the courage to speak their truth.
Almost always on the first visit my clients sit before me in tears, powerful, strong women who fall apart at the idea of expressing their thoughts and ideas and doing so beautifully. There is no doubt that these beautiful women need share their messages to the world, the tragedy, they are terrified to do so. Yes, being a great speaker, a great story teller requires skills but the core problem lies in courage and confidence.
As women, much more so than men we get bogged down in hurting others. Over the years I’ve seen this have a boomerang effect and it is the women themselves, protecting others that get hurt. We get hurt because while protecting others we don’t speak our truth. All the things we don’t want to say we hold inside for fear of upsetting others or what will others think or how will others react. It’s a veritable prison we live in, not communicating our truth and we are often times tortured because we instinctively know what needs to be said, it’s just hard to muster the courage to say it.
It’s absolutely essential that we speak our truth, not only for ourselves but for others who can and will learn and grow from our messages, our experiences.
The best part, the freedom that ultimately comes from stepping into what we think will create a self-inflicted prison. We are already in the prison and we must break out. But how do we break out of this prison, how do we muster the courage, the confidence to speak our truth?
First, we have to celebrate the victories. I believe we function out of two boxes, the dings and the victories. I see this issue with every woman I work with. On the left is the ding box and on the right is the victory box. The ding box is over flowing with hurts. These hurts could be opportunities when the truth was shared and shot down, times people hurt us, cheating husbands, bad bosses, anything really.
The ding box is where we put all of our focus and we seem to forget that the victory box is even over on the right. The ding box reminds us constantly of all the times that we were hurt, the times we perceived failure when we spoke our truth. We have to switch our focus off the ding box and onto the victory box which at the moment might look a little empty. It becomes essential to start celebrating even the smallest victories in communication and speaking our truth. Every little win we have must go into the victory box and be celebrated.
As we build up our wins, our victories, our focus starts to shift to the right and the victory box starts to get fuller and the ding box starts to be less noticeable.
If we focus on the communication victories, celebrate them, then we can start to build our confidence, our courage and we can begin to be honest with others and say what we need to say without fear. The fear becomes minimized because the dings are no longer stealing our focus; our focus is now on the victories.
The next step is in how to must the courage to even make that initial comment, tell that initial story, state that initial truth so we can have that victory.
I call it run to the roar.
In our minds we have this horrible story about what will happen if we speak our truth, say what we need and want to say. We get completely paralyzed by what people will think, what people will say, what might happen. The fears are a giant lion waiting to roar. But, the lion is only in our mind. We avoid the roaring lion at all cost. We avoid what we need to say, we try not to hurt or upset others and in the process we torture ourselves and the lion gets bigger and bigger because what we need to say is screaming in our heads to get out.
The only way to achieve victory, the only way to be able to be free to speak your truth, share your message is to run to the roar, to run straight into the biggest fear you have. The biggest fear might be letting go an employee, telling your husband something, informing a co-worker or client of a problem with the relationship…run straight to it!
I promise you, only one thing will happen when you do. The roaring lion will become a tiny kitten. You will say what you need to say and you will survive it and you will celebrate your ability to say what you needed to say, you will then have a victory in the victory box to focus on and the next time you need to speak your truth, you look to the victory, you say what you need to say, celebrate it and have another victory.
In a very short amount of time, once you’ve run to the roar, you will have a full victory box of communication and speaking efforts that you celebrated because you executed them so successfully.
The end result, freedom from the prison of not saying what you need to say, speaking your truth. Freedoms that will give you the confidence to communicate on any platform you choose whether it is in a presentation in front of hundreds of people, on a video, or simply in water cooler conversation.
The freedom, the victories, the confidence and the courage come first. The reframe of focus from dings to victories is where you start. I believe that speaking skills, effective communication skills, voice training, all are very important. But, the most freeing piece is learning to celebrate yourself and your message, truly believing people want to hear it, knowing they can benefit from it and letting go of what you perceive they are thinking.
It is from that freedom that beautiful stories can and will be told and lives will be changed for the better. My greatest hope for you, you will from this moment forward, run to the roar and finally be free to speak your truth.
Tracy Goodwin has spent years specializing in training speakers and actors, business people and anyone who has dreaded getting their voice out. While over the years, even before she became a full time expert coach, people sought her out to train them how to improve their voice, reduce their accent and become better speakers. But, what she really loves to do is build massive confidence because that’s the foundation.
Far too many adults show up at her door with no or low self-esteem, unsure of how they will ever get clear on their message, find their voice and speak it to the world beautifully. In the last 10 years Tracy’s focus has been on creating effective communication strategies to help build confidence and encourage women to speak their truth to the world.
Tracy can be found at Captivate The Room. Tracy works privately one on one with clients, offers online programs, live workshops and has downloadable courses in voice technique, presentation skills, accent reduction and most recently Rock Star Public Speaking for Kids and Teens.
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