Most people experience a connection when they are speaking one-to-one with another person. It is when they speak in front of a group that many people begin to feel afraid and lose the connection to themselves and to their listeners.
The secret to speaking without fear when you are talking to a group is to connect with one person at a time and simply speak conversationally.
Connection With Yourself
As long as I take a breath in and let it out, I am connected to myself. I can feel my body, the air in my chest as I inhale and the release of tension as I exhale. I can sense my skin as the sensitive receiver of the world around me–the coolness of the night, the warmth of a bath, the hands of love.
When I have an unpleasant sensation in my body, my instinct is to disconnect. Feeling judged and criticized make me want to move away both from the person and the experience. Nobody likes to experience terror as it races through their veins. As fright beats against the heart and tightens the throat, it is often too difficult to tolerate the fear.
I must remember, however, that even under the stress of anxiety I am still connected to myself. What does this mean? Always and absolutely I am a living, breathing Being. Within me is a depth of presence and ongoing strength that exists regardless of the circumstances.
Beneath the turbulence that unbalances me is the stillness that keeps me steady. I am here now connected to myself even in the midst of fear.
Connection With One Other Person
Just as I am connected to myself, in a deep and abiding way, I am connected to that same quality in others. When I am speaking to another person, I interact in a socially appropriate manner, but I also recognize that there is a place within each one that pulses with the essential and vibrant life force. This is their Being.
When I relate Being to Being, my words are both connected to me and to the person I am with. And in this way I am less reactive, less afraid. I realize we are of the same essence.
It is the personality, not the Being, that judges and carries expectations. So if I sense that the other is behaving in a way that scares me or puts me off, I can look more deeply and find where we are already connected. I can speak essence to essence which means I can be more open, honest, and compassionate.
Connection With a Group
When I am surrounded by a group listening to me speak, I can look for one person and affirm that ever-present essential connection I know that exists. If I have practiced this every time I am with just one person, then when I am in front of an audience, I only have to focus on a single individual. I speak with one Being at a time. I have to remember that I already know how to do that.
The more I am able to engage with one person, the more I can touch others in the group at the same time.
I don’t need to worry about whether I am paying attention to everyone because I know that with just one powerful connection, energy will radiate outward. If what I say reaches and is received by one person, then there is a vibration that is created. Others will feel this connection because it is genuine.
The secret is practicing relating to one person, no matter the size of the group. Trust that there will be someone in the audience who will be open to you. If there seems to be no one, you must quickly remind yourself that we are all connected, see everyone in their pure essence form, and speak. This is Essential Speaking.
Doreen’s Essential Speaking Tip:
When you imagine your audience, see them as pure Beings, which they are. A personality may frighten you, but it is the essence that you want to speak to. The connection already exists, whether you think of it as human to human, or essence to essence. When you speak, be with only one person at a time. Move on to someone else and continue the conversation with that person.