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Scared to Speak: The one fear that may be limiting your careerFeatured

TinaReis's profile thumbnail
This is great advice! What's sometimes tricky for me is if the atmosphere at the event is very competitive, and/or I find the people intimidating. Then I get myself to calm down before a talk by saying to myself "Okay, it is too late to change anything now, just go through with your plan!"In German we say "Augen zu und durch" before a challenging situation, which translates to "Close your eyes and go", aka just do it. That helps :)
JaneHoffacker's profile thumbnail
Thanks TinaReis! There's definitely that moment where you have to take the plunge-- love the German expression for it.
LindseyMiranda's profile thumbnail
I'm enamored of this article, thank you so much for putting it together! Your Misconception #3 is one that was personally holding me back, and I hadn't found a way through or past it yet. Thank you!
JaneHoffacker's profile thumbnail
Thank you! I'm so glad to hear that. Messaging develops over time-- I started with rough ideas and not a great sense of who I was. It gets better with practice, even if it starts out awkwardly like I did. You'll learn a lot through the process.
LindseyMiranda's profile thumbnail
Can't wait, thank you Jane! I'm currently using my background as a trained actor to help me with my investor pitches and it's been very helpful. This public speaking bit ties in very neatly with that, I'm excited to build your unique editing processes into my script building. I adore how you explain editing with different lenses/audiences in mind. Very, very cool info.
JaneHoffacker's profile thumbnail
Thanks LindseyMiranda! Really appreciate hearing that this was helpful. A mentor once told me that the best communicators are the best listeners, and that made a lot of sense. It's so much less about what you say (which we all get caught up on) versus what your audience gets from the message.
LindseyMiranda's profile thumbnail
I hear that. I've been focusing on sussing out which question(s) to ask in any given situation. I've had the fortune to observe some excellent listeners asking even better questions and I'm trying to figure out how to model that. I feel like the public speaking bit (and my own background in acting!) may tie in very neatly in some interesting ways.
cynthiachan's profile thumbnail
Hey Lindsey, misconception #3 was something that used to really hold me back too. There are so many opportunities to speak or give presentations. If there's a topic you're knowledgeable about, there are many local startup groups that are happy to hear tips on a topic. You can start with work and build up to larger and larger events :).
JaneHoffacker's profile thumbnail
That's a great tip Cynthiachan-- I hadn't thought of that!
kristenb's profile thumbnail
100% - you have to be visible! Good advice! Thanks Jane.Any Elpha speaking coaches here for those who hear this but want support?
MinaFung's profile thumbnail
Hi Kristen, what have you tried that didin't work?
kristenb's profile thumbnail
Mina, All of the above advice Jane gives on ‘simple loop’ are excellent, but I have seen speaking coaches really take people to the next level and sometimes its all someone needs - just a little extra external encouragement and confidence. Coaches can be transformational. This is just a call to for any speaking coaches to jump in! Personally, would love to add you to my network.
JaneHoffacker's profile thumbnail
Love this Kristenb. I haven't had the opportunity to work with speaking coaches but it is something I'd love to do in the course of my career. Please, if you're a speaking coach, reply to this thread so we can find you!
joannainsf's profile thumbnail
@JaneHoffacker Contact me and I can connect you to speaking coaches in Toastmasters or people who work with Toastmasters members to get to an even higher level of skill.
kristenb's profile thumbnail
@joannainsf Joanna I’d love to connect.
maggiewolff's profile thumbnail
It took me far too long to realize that not speaking up and/or presenting was holding back my career. I still need to force myself out of the comfort zone and still don't do it enough, but I am definitely agreeing to present more often during team meetings.
JaneHoffacker's profile thumbnail
Yay!!! Thank you so much for sharing this and best of luck on your journey. Part of the challenge for me was pushing back the feelings of inadequacy which I overcame with practice and-- frankly-- doing this enough to see that people do value what I have to say.
cynthiachan's profile thumbnail
I love this! Thank you so much for sharing Jane. Misconception #3 is something I think holds many of us back - we think if we were good enough, people would reach out to us but that's often not the case. You start by promoting yourself and as you make more of a brand for yourself, that's where you'll start having people ask you to present. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy in that way!
JaneHoffacker's profile thumbnail
YES exactly! Well put.
ElleDM's profile thumbnail
This was a great read, thanks for sharing, Jane! I was particularly shaken by this line:"when you entirely depend on others to ask you to speak, you’re letting others define your expertise and scope your message" The concept of 'if I'm worthy, they would come find me' is something I struggle with a lot - building a voice and a brand can be scary! The way you've laid it out gives me a lot to think about. Even outside of speaking, I think this can apply to writing and submitting pieces to publications.
JaneHoffacker's profile thumbnail
This brings me a lot of joy to feel that this post was helpful, thank you for sharing and I wish you the best on your journey.
joannainsf's profile thumbnail
@JaneHoffacker Thank you for taking the time to outline your process. Your insight is helpful for those of us who strive to advance professionally.May I suggest for anyone who is interested in developing their confidence and ability to speak well, contact me! I can tell you all about Toastmasters, an educational non-profit, which I have been a member of for 4 years. I think more clearly, speak succinctly and have eliminated those pesky “ums”! The cherry on top is that I’m growing my network as well. In April, I’ll be working on starting a new Toastmasters club! I’d love for it to be an all Elpha member club!!!
JaneHoffacker's profile thumbnail
Thanks Joannainsf! I've never participated in Toastmasters but I'm looking into it now. <3
joannainsf's profile thumbnail
@JaneHoffacker Now is a good time to check out Toastmasters clubs. We’ve been meeting virtually on Zoom since March 2020!Not only are we developing speaking skills but also online presentation skills as well! The latter will be the #1 skill that will help people succeed now and in the future.But also, if people have difficulty with interpersonal communications (with colleagues, your boss, with neighbors, etc.) then Toastmasters will help with this too. Members have a choice which Path they choose to learn: negotiations, persuasion, presentation mastery and more! Contact me and I’ll invite you to my SF club.
becook's profile thumbnail
Fine tuning my public speaking is a big goal of mine for 2021! Thanks for this.