Toastmasters Offers Tools
I did Toastmasters quite a few years ago when I was first beginning to face my fear of public speaking. I got awards—regional awards, district awards, and yet I still did not get to that place inside where my fear took residence. Deep within I was still hiding how terrified I was of standing up in front of people with all eyes on me…judging and evaluating.
Even though I learned valuable tools to take on a stage such as vocal variety, gesturing with emphasis, and crafting a well prepared script, I still would approach those presentations with fear.
Speaking Circles® Create Transformation
It wasn’t until I met Lee Glickstein, who is the founder of Speaking Circles®, that I started to see there is another way to transform that hidden anxiety into what he called “magnetic presence.” I discovered another way of finding ease and comfort underneath whatever I’m presenting.
Whether I’m giving a speech that I’ve scripted, or whether it’s spontaneous and in the moment, I can feel a connection to my essential core strength.
Not only does this connection to my real voice make a difference on a stage, it has transformed the way I speak to others, one-to-one. Speaking to my husband or my friends or my children involves more of a being with each person in the moment.
Relational Presence Dissolves Public Speaking Fears
We call the practice, Relational Presence. You can think of it as the “be with.” You train yourself to be fully present in the moment, listening, and connected to your own essential self. At the same time you find the connection to the listener.
Going to a Speaking Circle® is like going to a consciousness gym, where you practice what it’s like to find the connection to yourself and to another person at the same time. Then words become more engaging, and you find yourself relating to your listeners in a genuine way.
When you discover the core of your essential strength, you can speak from a grounded place that allows you take those risks at work, deliver presentations, offer your opinion at a meeting, and be comfortable carrying on conversations anywhere, anytime.
Doreen Downing, Ph.D., is a Psychologist, founder of Essential Speaking, and Training Director of Speaking Circles® International. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety caused by the fear of speaking. In addition to her authentic communication workshops, private coaching, and psychotherapy, she leads Speaking Circles® in Berkeley, CA, along with E-Courses and seminars throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Her book, Essential Speaking: The 7-Step Guide to Finding Your Real Voice offers a mindful way to dissolve fear and tap into the strength of your Essential Self. To contact Doreen, Click Here.[/vc_column_text]