“A silent mind is far more precise, accurate, and powerful than anything that is contained in the boundaries of rational thought.” Deepak Chopra
When people come to my programs on overcoming the fear of speaking, they are always surprised to see that I begin my 7 steps to Fearless Speaking with “Be Silent.” Immediately they know they are not in a conventional course like other classes that often stress how to craft and organize a speech or how to make dramatic gestures. I see on the faces of the students that they are wondering what in the world silence has to do with speaking?
To be still while all eyes are focused on you seems to be in opposition to what you think you should be doing in that moment as you stand in front of others. You are the speaker and the pressure is on you to speak. You must find the words, fill up the space, and not leave any dead air.
What I am talking about is learning how to tap into the silent still point within, that emptiness where there are no words, the quiet at the center of now.
Musicians call it the space between the notes. Writers call the blank page a container for their thoughts. And speakers who are comfortable with silence say that this deep clear state is the very foundation of their words.
Fear Dissolves Naturally
Imagine if you were absolutely comfortable being silent and did not rush to your words. There would then be no fear of going blank, no fear of losing your way, no fear of looking stupid. In other words, no self-consciousness. Your ability to be silent could be a powerful stance, a strength that people might admire.
Your confidence would soar if your fear of standing speechless in front of others did not exist.
Doreen’s Essential Speaking Tip:
Instead of rehearsing every word of a talk you will be giving, stand in front of a mirror and go blank. Release all of your words and just be still. Don’t reach into your memory bank for what you have to say. Let it all go. Don’t reach into the future. Let it all go. Stay quiet with yourself, move through your anxiety if it is there, and breathe. Then listen into the silence and notice what, if any, words arise on their own.