Have you ever noticed the nervousness/slight uneasiness you feel when you’re taking a risk? Mine usually surfaces when I’m about to make a presentation or share an idea during a meeting and even when I’m approaching someone at a networking event. I always knew what I wanted to say, but something would happen when I began to speak. My words didn’t seem to match what I thought in my mind. It was so frustrating. I used to find myself stumbling over my words, using the same words or completely drawing a blank. Coming from a place of quiet to a place where you realize you matter, can be a little awkward at first.
Here are a few ways to begin overcoming your shyness and become comfortable letting your voice be heard.
First, choose your words carefully. Take some time to process the information you would like to share. Make sure it’s relevant and clear.
Next, be mindful of your delivery. If you express yourself as though you don’t believe what you’re saying, neither will anyone else. Express your idea slowly and clearly. Deliver your words with enthusiasm, energy and confidence. If you know what you’re saying is relevant to the conversation, meeting or project, you must deliver it as such.
Finally, you have to create an affirmation, chant or some ritual that provides the self-motivation you need to make it happen. There is value in what you offer. Your thoughts and ideas are just as important as everyone else’s in the room. I often do a little self pow-wow to get myself pumped. I tell myself that I can do it! It’s kind of a silly ritual, but it works for me. Before any presentation or training, I go into the restroom, look myself in the eye in the mirror and in a high pitched tone I say “You can do it, you can do it, you can do it!” . The great part about my chant is that I believe it. I leave that restroom with my head held high and shoulders back and I do it! Whatever that “it” is.
You’d be surprised at just how many people are nervous before they speak. We definitely aren’t alone. However, the difference between most people is that some of us take the risk. We do it afraid. Once you recognize that you, yes you, matter, you’ll begin to know the importance of speaking your truth, asking questions and sharing your wisdom.
Finding your voice can be awkward in the beginning, but take your time, think about the results you want and go for it!
Bolder Sisters, how are you overcoming the awkwardness of finding your voice?