Did you know that different mindsets and thoughts about speaking will create different speaking experiences.
Here are some challenges I see people have when speaking and possible causes or blocks that I have encountered working with clients, and see if you can relate.
1. Difficulty in projecting the voice – you no doubt have come across people that speak in a very quiet voice and that are challenged by speaking up loud enough to be heard.
Did you know this is could be more about what the person thinks or believes about speaking, than any problem with the vocal chords. Yes, any attempts to speak up could cause constriction/tightening in the throat, making it seem physical – BUT, more than likely this is a physical response to a thought, much like your neck and shoulder muscles might tighten when you feel stressed.
For one of my clients, it was a habit created out of working in a quiet environment, where a raised voice was met with glares and reprimands. His natural voice was ‘trained’ to be quiet.
If you have a problem projecting your voice, consider what you were brought up to believe about speaking up, that might be causing you to stay silent.
2. Over-Explaining – I know a couple of people that feel the need to explain, and explain AND explain some more to get there point across. Okay, I got it already!!
For one person, I know this stemmed from the feeling of never being heard when he was young – and so he kept on a point, even if the listener nodded their head to indicate they got it.
Another friend explained to me that she was concerned about being misunderstood (and this had had terrible ramifications in a past experience) and so she wanted to make quite sure she was clear and would explain every detail. Just talking about it, made her aware of her problem when it came to public speaking (she never felt she had enough time to get a point across) and helped her to make conscious choices when speaking.
You don’t have to stick to an old program or habit just because that is what you have always done, especially if it doesn’t work for you anymore.
3. Playing Safe – I think a lot of people can relate to this. Being safe in communicating in order to be liked, or to not ‘rock the boat’. I know I would do this in my personal relationships (before meeting the love-of-my-life). I wouldn’t speak up and share my true opinion in fear of not being liked or loved anymore. Of course, those relationships didn’t work out.
But many relationships do endure like that, with people not being true to themselves or the relationship.
When it comes to public speaking, the people that do well are the ones that dare to stand out, that dare to NOT be liked, to polarize people.
This is the same for those one-to-one conversations as it is speaking to large groups.
Explore your own challenges around speaking and communication. If you’re message is not getting heard, what do you need to change? The most important thing for you to have is CHOICE. Choice in what to say and how to say it.
Please leave a comment sharing your views on this.