Finding Your Voice!

Do you really need to find your voice? Did it abandon you and take off on the first available flight? Many speakers have faced the challenge of finding their voice when on stage or giving a presentation at a meeting. Once the focus is on you the full awareness of the self can create a feeling of falling into the great abyss. At the office party or family gathering, the feeling is fine. It’s a mini audience and there seems to be no fear telling tales of your own adventure or elaborating on talking points from politics to soap operas. Why is it that once we are center stage in front of a hungry audience our self-esteem dissipates leaving us with shaking hands, sweaty palms, knocking knees or the feeling of your morning meal is about to be splattered over the floor? It was there when I was in the shower this morning rehearsing my lines or while on the phone talking to my childhood friend as you looked forward to an upcoming event to share your idea amongst peers. For those of us who indulge in the spirits, it most definitely presents itself as you share some secret or express your political opinion about an opposition political party. The point is it’s never really gone anywhere.
In my case, it went hiding in my childhood years. I was the last child and 4 years younger than my next sibling. As the youngest, I felt I was always told to be quiet or to shut up and sit down. The phrase “children should be seen and not heard” is still bolted in my brain and it has taken a conscious effort to on my part to end the cycle and allow not only myself but also my children to enjoy the freedom of expression. Yes, it’s okay to allow your children to challenge you – respectfully. Establish appropriate and healthy boundaries and guide them in developing their own social constraints.
To find your authentic voice it is imperative to break down the barriers that you have personally created over the years. Micheal Port, best-selling author of “Steal the Show” shares in his book performance techniques and strategies and adequate rehearsing strengthen key components of confidence – self-respect and self-efficacy.
Finding your voice is not necessarily about finding that suit of armor by adding more to your ability to perform. It is most likely the need to peel back the layers of the true you that’s dying to come out. Take the time to reflect on your past and identify the voices or situations that made you feel small. We all have them. Now shut them down and reveal the real you.

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