The NEW RULES of public speaking for women
This past weekend something nutty happened, something that I never thought I would ever, ever, ever do. I performed on Broadway. Yes, you read it right.:
I performed on Broadway !!!!
This is kind of unbelievable for a number of reasons: First off, how did this shy girl from the mountains of Italy get to be on stage at the PlayStation Theater on 44th and Broadway (aka, Times Square) in front of 900+ people? And, how is it that I enjoyed myself so much even though I was dancing and I have a long history of hating any sort of activity involving even minimal physical exertion?
And it got me thinking about public speaking, and what we, as women, think it should look like.
We think we need to look super-polished.
We think we need to hide ourselves.
We think we need to fit into a perfectly-crafted box.
But what if this wasn’t true at all? What if we’ve brainwashed to believe public speaking has to look a certain way — polished, professional, unruffled — when actually that’s not what truly matters?
And that’s why today I want to share with you what really matters in public speaking, and it’s not what you think.
The most important “rule” or “commandment” of public speaking is: To thyself be true. In other words, you must tap into the most real, genuine, and authentic part of yourself (warts and all), and communicate that to your audience.
Because … They’re craving the REAL YOU. Gone are the times when audiences wanted perfectly polished and lifeless presentations. Audiences today want to feel SEEN, and HEARD. They want to feel safe. And you can make them feel safe only when you’re unafraid of showing your real self.
How do you do it? A great place to start is by owning every part of yourself. Yup, even the yucky stuff that you’re most embarrassed by. Even the stories you wish you didn’t have to
As more and more women claim the public stage, a new type of leadership emerges, one based on connection versus self-centeredness. The audience wants to connect with you in an authentic way, and you must give them exactly that.
There are several ways to achieve this. First, you want to write your talk or presentation with the audience in mind. So, think about these questions: What do they need? What are their problems? What do they struggle with? What are their desires?
Second, find ways to interact with the audience during your speech, so that it becomes more of a dialogue than a monologue. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions or have them ask you questions.
3) GRACEFUL POWER (and POWERFUL GRACE)
There’s a misconception out there that if you’re authentic and share your story and weaknesses, people will perceive you as less powerful. But this is actually not true. When you fully own your story without shame, when you stand up and speak up as who you truly are, you’ll come across as 100 times more powerful and impactful.
And this power is not of the masculine, aggressive variety. No, it’s a new form of power — calm, grounded, inspired & inspiring.
It takes courage to get there, I’m not gonna lie, but it’s totally worth it.
I believe in you and your voice,