It was a profound moment. It was an unusually relaxed and quiet Saturday afternoon after what had been a very hectic month, preparing for two rather significant speaking engagements.
I kept coming back to the beautiful words of a very dear friend who knew the anxiety that had been building up for me: "Just remember, whatever you say is going to be OK. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to come from your heart."
As the events were replaying in my mind, I remembered that sick feeling in my stomach after each presentation. "I should have done this; I didn't say that." "I sounded so…."
I came to the stark realization that no matter how many public speaking classes and workshops I attended, no matter how many books I read on the subject or tips / techniques I had practiced, I will never be a super dynamic or charismatic speaker.
What I knew to be true, though, was that the message I was there to deliver, is very real and deeply felt.
Sitting there, I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and acceptance, realizing that at the end of the day, we are simply human beings speaking, sharing with one another. It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to come from the heart. The person who is meant to receive the message that day, will get it.
Of course, I had to finally acknowledge that the negative banter does eventually, thankfully, die down as I slowly settle into, "okay…. the takeaways and feedback indicate that someone got it!" The disapproval is replaced with the fulfilling feeling of knowing I made an impact, a contribution (big or small) for someone, and I can't wait for us to continue the conversation!
It's about finding that deep place inside, that's the heart of who we are, authentic. No pretenses. No judgment. Just real. I think when we are in search of it, we find it, and when we do, it gives us the strength and the courage to pierce through and past the edge of our comfort zones, to show up and share what's important.
The presentation may not have been perfect. There was something about the topic that moved me enough, was important enough for me to step out and share. The message (however it came out) was exactly what it needed to be, to reach the person who was meant to receive it that day.
What was in my heart, reached theirs. Mission accomplished.
Where can you step out of your own comfort zone to share a message that will resonate with others?