Public Speaking – Finding YOUR VOICE

Today, I want to talk about Finding Your Voice when public speaking.

What does it mean to find your voice? Well, there are lots of different interpretations of that particular phrase but to my mind, it’s really about having the confidence to be you and to speak up as you truly are.

A lot of my clients come to me and they say that they just want to find their groove on stage, they want to get in to their groove, be who they are, be natural, be comfortable during public speaking.

They want to get rid of negative self-talk, the voice that’s watching and chattering away. They want to be fully present to the experience of being on stage and of course, to enjoy it and feel like they’ve been really authentic, that they’ve been themselves.

3 Tips for Finding Your Voice

1 – It takes time

The first thing I want to say here is that finding your voice can take time. Some people are naturally just who they are, whoever they with, maybe they’re rebels, maybe they don’t care what other people think but they just through and through, 100% all the time themselves.

Others find it a bit more difficult.

I just read Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest book. He shared that in the beginning, he was quite stiff on video, and he really wasn’t himself at all but over time he found his voice. I think he said it took him about 40 videos. At that point, he started to bring these pictures of his boxing champions into the office and on camera, and he was starting to swear a little bit more in these videos, he was just being more of himself.

In the same way, the more presentations that you make, the more you become comfortable with being yourself in front of an audience. So give yourself that time, don’t put pressure on yourself at the very beginning to be really smooth and flowing.

Just focus on taking it step by step, being a little more comfortable than the time before. And then before you know it, you’re making presentations, and you’re feeling completely yourself when you’re on stage.

2 – Have a play, be self-deprecating during public speaking

Another thing around finding your voice to my mind, is having a bit a laugh with it, being humorous about it. I’m not saying you have to be a joker on stage, but being able to laugh at yourself and sometimes acknowledge some of the faults that you have or the things you may do a bit wrong or slip-ups with the audience is a great one for breaking the ice.

I was speaking to a lady on the phone yesterday. She has an accent, she’s from Eastern Europe, she runs a very very successful business, and she feels that she doesn’t really want to be the voice of her company because she has an accent.

We talked about that and she said that typically when she uses the wrong vocabulary when she’s speaking to her team or a partner, they just laugh about it.

Really, what you want to do is to get to that place where you can laugh about it in front of your audience, because typically most people in that audience, especially if they are native English speakers, they will not have multiple languages at their disposal.

I meet a lot of clients who are worried because they have an accent, or because English is not their first language but most Brits don’t have multiple languages in their pocket and they probably thinking “I wish I spoke 3 or 4 languages” rather than thinking “she pronounced that word wrong”.

Remember what you bring to the table! All your life experience and expertise is what has qualified you to be there to speak – don’t forget that.

3 – Acknowledge your progress at public speaking

And that takes you to my third point, to acknowledge who you are and to enjoy your public speaking journey.

I remember when social media got big, and I was still thinking why/how on earth can I be on Facebook, Instagram and share tidbits of my life and give my opinion? Who wants to hear anyway? 

You might feel that no-one’s interested in your opinion or that they’re judging your delivery. But do the best that you can do, and recognise that you’ll be going to get better every single day you practise.

Accept your awesomeness and also your humanity because once we accept who we are, once we love ourselves, then we stop judging ourselves and then we also stop judging others.

The less you judge yourself, the more you can be free on stage. You can simply be, without thinking of anything other than the interaction between you and your audience and the message you have to share.

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So those are my three tips. Good luck with finding and expressing that voice…the world needs to hear what YOU have to say! 🙂

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P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you improve your speaking or grow your business:

1 – Get my free guide – 27 places to find speaking opportunities.

Find out where your next speaking opportunity might come from – whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or experienced speaker.

2 – Join my Facebook Group – Public Speaking for Female Coaches and Entrepreneurs.

Join us for tips, discussions and community!

3 – Check out the course 6 Week Speaking Success at https://sholakaye.com/6weeksuccess

4 – Find out about my VIP Days and private coaching.

Book me for a VIP half or full-day session if you want to make some serious progress! We could help you create a business networking strategy and perfect your pitch. Or we could work on your signature talk so that audience members or hungry to work with you. Or we could explore frameworks and strategies to help give you confidence whether you’re speaking at conferences, in meetings or at other events. Or more!!