Last year Michael Hyatt’s team asked me to write about public speaking for his popular blog, www.michaelhyatt.com. As president of a public speaking ministry, I was honored, but I insisted that the real star was my wife, Wendy. She attended the SCORRE Conference in 2011 and had a metamorphic experience. She took the helm and wrote this most excellent article below, originally published August 10, 2013.
Following Michael Hyatt’s lead, I guess you can say I have a significant platform. I’m mother of sixteen children. There’s “wow” for you. Needless to say, I get asked to speak for all sorts of occasions—women’s groups, conventions, and churches. I have a unique message on “Love in the House” that I enjoy sharing.
My problem is this: I hate public speaking. I love the message, but the actual public speaking part makes me sick. My knees lock up, I can’t keep my notes organized, my voice shakes and I sound like I’m about to cry—because I am! Not a good combination for an audience who just wants to hear what a mom of sixteen has to say.
To make matters worse, my husband, Chris, runs Training Minds, an organization that trains young people the skills of speech and debate competition. Many of my children have gone on to become national champions with award-winning speeches.
This just makes me feel deflated. I come from a family of great speakers, yet I’m no good at it. So last year I signed up for SCORRE.
SCORRE is a speaking conference for people like me who want to overcome the all-too-common fear of public speaking. Since SCORRE, I have been invited to speak on several occasions. Rather than turn them down or bear the embarrassment, I have confidently taken these opportunities and connected with audiences. I’m actually starting to enjoy public speaking.
SCORRE was the support I needed. I was able to realize my fear, recall my lessons, and rely on my support. These three reminders helped get me out of a paralyzing fear of speaking, and I suspect the same for you.
1. Realize Your Fear
If you are like me, you have something to say, but you avoid public speaking like the plague. It is the scariest thing on the planet. People go to the grave never overcoming the fear of speaking.
To tell you the truth, I was fine going to the grave with this one, but I knew well enough that it was senseless fear. My first step for me was registering for SCORRE.
For many years I kept my story to myself. I felt confident in front of no more than a small group of people.
I wrote books and preferred to stay out of the limelight. I refused invitations time and time again, but the requests kept coming in. I knew that if my message were to get out, I needed to become a public speaker.
If you have a message that is burning inside you, and the only barrier between you and communicating this message to the world is overcoming your fear, well then, you have one solution: realizing and overcoming that fear. Realize that fear is a farce. Then press on.
2. Recall Your Lessons
I honestly thought there was some kind of magic to public speaking, that you were born to do it or something. Maybe there was something inside people who did it and were successful at it. Whatever it was, I didn’t I have it. I watched people on stage do so well and not seem nervous or embarrassed. I was amazed with people who could pull it off.
I never would have guessed that there were actual strategies and lessons that someone like me could learn. This is what SCORRE is: a conference that gives you specific strategies to public speaking. There is a method to the magic! And I was able to learn it in just a few days.
Today when I am asked to speak, I recall those things I learned at the SCORRE Conference. I don’t shy away or make up excuses to avoid the opportunities. I get out there and I do it. There is no speaking engagement that I can’t do anymore, all thanks to SCORRE.
3. Rely on Your Support
This was perhaps the best thing about SCORRE: the support. The others at SCORRE are not a critical audience who expect more than you can deliver. They were my peers who were in the same boat as me: scared and unsure, yet determined to learn. We all wanted to get better, and we all wanted the best for one another.
Better yet, I had a professional coach to help me prepare my speeches. SCORRE attendees are broken up into small groups with a dedicated coach who helped me every step of the way. I learned the SCORRE method and delivered three speeches, each making me a better and stronger speaker.
Speaking in public is not nearly as forgiving. Audiences expect speakers to deliver. Everyone at the SCORRE Conference is there to support you. I even had Ken Davis (Michael’s partner and the original founder of SCORRE) come in and watch my last speech, and he was enormously supportive and encouraging to me. Hands down, this last feature made SCORRE worth every penny.
Can you identify with me? You probably don’t have sixteen children, but you have a unique platform that you would love to share with the world. SCORRE turned me from a shy, nervous speaker to a person willing to take the stage and deliver. Perhaps the same is true for you.[callout] NOTE: If you would like to attend the SCORRE Conference in Vail, Colorado, you can get $100 off if you register before September 2. If you use coupon code JEUB, enjoy another $100 savings! That’s a total of $200 savings with the coupon code! Register here. [/callout]