As promised here I begin my series...
How many of you'll can deliver a speech to a group of audience. Loud and clear, with excellent diction and smart posture without your heart pounding in your ears, knees knocking together, eyes drilling the opposite wall, throat drying up to a croaky voice and palms leaking your confidence?
A prepared speech to begin with. Impromptu requires a different skills set, which I'll tackle later.
This is no arm-chair writing nor a funda that flew over the top of my scalp as I munched popcorn. These are real facts - those what I experienced, am experiencing and am damn well sure will experience!
To begin with acknowledge that you cannot speak to a group of more than five strangers without going through at least one of the several symptoms mentioned in the opening paragraph. This is called 'BEING AWARE'.
Next admit it is a 'weakness'. Loud and clear, say it aloud. Let the monster inside you listen and prepare itself for the attack.
Trust me it is one great weakness to possess. No, I'm not nuts yet. Think of this...How would you feel if you were to tease the biggest bully in your class or office in his/her face?
That's exactly what you are doing by saying it loud and clear - 'Yes, I have a weakness.'
Next say I'm not ashamed. Say it as many times loud and clear. Look into the mirror and yell - 'Yes I have a weakness, but am not ashamed'.
This is what I didn't do. And this is the reason why I was called names, branded and... suffered for more than two decades of my adult life. I lived in denial. And when the need to speak multiplied I receded further into my own imaginary shell. I spoke only if spoken to and was called a 'snob'. I replied in monosyllables and was called 'ignorant'. I kept away from discussions and conversations and was labelled 'shy'. Some even attacked my pedigree. Yet I chose not to react, until I realised my purpose in life. I became an author and I hate if I were to be called a shy and ignorant author. For I'm simply NOT that.
You need not wait to hit the wall to seek remedies. Join a forum (there are dime a dozen in any city) that will hone your speaking skills. If cash is your problem, no worries. Form a group. Tell your well-hearted friends or relatives or neighbours about your intention. Bet you! there are hordes of 'shy' people out there.
And once you initiate in forming a group, you automatically become its leader and lo! you will already begin basking in new-found confidence.
Those of you joining professional groups, fret not. Just look around and see the varied members - you will find managers and office boys, housewives and so-called superwomen, even aged and experienced professionals all under one roof - desperate to speak without stuttering.
Take this first step and then check me out here for the next.
All the best!
Checkout the intro to this series http://nishasanjeev.blogspot.com/2012/03/what-shame-journalist-training-to-speak.html