As I prepare an event for World Speech Day 2020, I receive emails from interested students who wish to participate. As the word “participate” is a broad term, I send back a questionaire which asks “Do you wish to make a speech?” This question must conjure up some black magic because all the interested people write back that they wish simply attend. This is great news as it is the first time I have run the event. I am happy that an audience is forming. Yet, I am rather surprised nobody wishes to grab the opportunity of stage time at the event in Paris.
This hesitation on the part of young people makes me wonder why there is resistence about sharing our ideas in public. There should be no resistence when we remember:
The goal of communication is connection, not perfection.
I will not try to analyse the reason of others. However, I will share my three reasons for speaking which may inspire you to speak up next time you are given the opportunity. First, let me state that in the context of my blog “speaking” means sharing a vision, emotions, joy, energy, hope, depth, and soul. This is what I call the rainbow.
I understand that many will not be able to do that without some practice (even though the process is totally natural and mastered by many!) and this could be why they are hesitant. But as I am willing to coach students prepare to speak at my World Speech Day event, it should not be seen as the main obstacle. It could be mindset or unclear objectives.
My three reasons for speaking:
- When we share our ideas and vision with emotions, energy, joy, hope, depth and soul, we honor our audience. Not everyone may agree with us, but we touch others in a way that makes us memorable. Yes we stand out, and that might worry some, but our courage to speak emboldens our audience to think and, maybe, change some aspect of their own world vision in response to our talk. Our audience may enter into dialogue with our ideas at a future moment. Strong speeches contribute to freeing the flow of speech in others and enrich the spread of ideas in the world.
- When we speak, we honor ourselves, our ideas, vision, and our creative process. We honor the flow of life that animates our brain and body naturally. We honor our words by releasing them and this increases our flow of thoughts and words.
- When we speak, we honor our allies, guides, teachers, supporters, and people who have helped us on our journey to where we are at that point in time. We also honor all the nay-sayers, competitors, and opponents that have forced us to hone and refine our vision to what it has become.
Honor goes to the Brave
Consider these points next time you are hesitating about sharing your story, vision, or ideas. Speaking is an honor which was once bestowed on the bold and great and refused to those that served. Today that is still the case in some countries or societies. Fortunately, speaking in many parts of our global world is now a source of pleasure and power which is free to enjoy.
If you feel downtrodden, lacking power, or without a voice, it is time to do something about it. Stand up and honor yourself and your right to speak.
Here are four things you can do:
- Join a public speaking club like Toastmasters,
- Look for an opportunity to speak an event like World Speech Day or organize your own
- Sign up for a few minutes at an open mic night or slam poetry session.
- Speak to a stranger in the street, café or public transport
Honor goes to the brave. An audience naturally bestows honor on those that take the stage to share their rainbow.