This week, I was chatting with a client who is struggling to get out from behind the lectern and speak from the heart! She knows she is hiding. She knows it’s not serving her and it’s stopping her from reaching her goal of CEO, but she is stuck. With an upcoming speaking gig, we spent time talking about the reality of being asked to speak at an event.
Jenny is a high functioning leader in her executive team, someone who has not got to where she is accidentally. She has worked tirelessly to reach her senior position. During our conversation she said, “I don’t know why they have asked me to speak at this prestigious event”.
It exposed her mindset and got me thinking. This is crazy! No one is going to ask you to speak at an event because you are not a qualified expert in your field. I had to disrupt the conversation and highlight the fact that no one wants to make a fool out of you, and she needs to shift her thinking around why she is there.
- Has she had more than 20 years’ experience in her field and knows what she is talking about?
- Do you have systems and structures that would add value the room?
- Is your skill set relevant to the room you are speaking in?
Yes, yes and yes were the answers. Ok then, you are simply underestimating the value that you add to the room.
Then I asked the big question:
Who are you NOT to share your expertise and experience?
This audience wants to hear what you have to say. They deserve to hear what you have to say. You want to be heard. You have fought to be heard for 20 years. So why are you hiding behind the lectern with a perfectly structured presentation (that could have been sent in an email)? If they wanted that, they would have commissioned you to write a white paper.
While this was a difficult conversation to have with Jenny, it was necessary. I understand that business professionals are NOT professional speakers. However, as a high functioning professional today, you need to be able to speak confidently across all platforms. But, if you keep hiding, if you don’t flex your ability to speak or develop your message, you are never going to contribute to the bigger conversations that matter.
My question to you today is this, how do step out from behind the lectern? How do you introduce your ideas, while inspiring and motivating your listeners to take action?
Not sure! For support in developing a confident strong competitive edge with your voice, why not check out my my latest programs.
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