We Always Teach What We Need to Learn
For almost 30 years, Saskia Shakin, author of More Than Words Can Say: The Making of Inspired Speakers, has made a living coaching others to speak in public. And yet she has mixed feelings about speaking in front of large groups herself. "Speaking to one or to a small group is real. You see them. They see you," says Shakin. "But when the room gets large . . . you are in a spotlight that says 'perform.'"
Now that the completion of her book has forced her into the lecture circuit, Shakin has had to coach herself using the strategies she teaches to others. For example, when facing a large group, she works on redirecting the spotlight of her mind. "When it is directed at me, I am ripe for self-consciousness," she explains. "When it is directed at another, I am open to real communion."
She stops asking, how am I doing? and moves to, are you with me? Instead of worrying, will they like me? she considers, what can I offer them? "The difference now is that I do not see it as a performance. I see my role as a sharer," says Shakin. "And when I share . . . my listeners are up there with me."
Read Saskia Shakin’s entire blog post on this topic.