The Lessons of Public Speaking
by Kathryn

Do you remember the first time you stood in front of an audience, your heart racing, palms sweating, and butterflies fluttering in your stomach? Public speaking, often feared and avoided, is a skill that holds the power to transform lives in ways we might not initially recognise. From igniting confidence to fostering personal growth, the benefits of public speaking extend far beyond the podium.

For me, I was always going to make the leap from page to stage. I love creating narratives. I am dedicated to live storytelling as an antidote to and protest of this digital age.

Embracing Fear: A Catalyst for Growth

I realise that public speaking at its core confronts one of our most primal fears – the fear of judgment and rejection. It has been so long since I experienced fear on the stage that I find it difficult to recall. The book launch of The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh was at none other than the venerable New York Public Library. I knew it was a necessary first step and I knew it was within this discomfort that growth flourishes.

Stepping onto that stage with strangers, my publicists, the publisher of Timber Press, family, and friends who flew to New York did require some courage, some vulnerability, and a willingness to embrace imperfection. Each speech, talk, lecture or narrative performance becomes a journey of self-discovery, an opportunity to confront insecurities.  Now nearly 200 public talks later, I was the first speaker in the new “Cultivating Wisdom and Wonder Speaker Series” at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, pictured above.

Amplifying Your Voice: Empowering Others

Public speaking is not merely about delivering a message; it’s about creating an impact. Whether like me you’re talking about literary history or you’re sharing personal experiences, advocating for a cause, or presenting groundbreaking ideas, your voice has power. You can inspire, educate, and provoke change. Each word spoken has the potential to resonate with someone in the audience, sparking a ripple effect of empowerment and enlightenment.

Connecting with Your Audience: Building Authentic Relationships

In the digital age, genuine connections are often overshadowed by screens and notifications. Public speaking offers a rare opportunity to connect with others on a deeper level – face to face, heart to heart. As you engage with your audience, sharing stories, insights, and emotions, you forge authentic connections built on trust and empathy. These connections are at the core of what I do and transcend the confines of the stage, fostering lasting relationships and community bonds.

Cultivating Confidence: Unleashing Your Potential

Confidence is not a prerequisite for public speaking; rather, it is a byproduct of the journey. With each speech delivered, each obstacle overcome, and each standing ovation received, confidence blossoms. Public speaking empowers you to own your voice, stand tall in your convictions, and embrace your unique strengths. As you step off the stage, you carry with you a newfound sense of self-assurance that permeates every aspect of your life.

Embracing the Journey: Celebrating Every Moment

The joys of public speaking lie not only in the destination but in the journey itself. Every stumble, every triumph, and every moment of vulnerability shapes you into the speaker you are destined to become. I recommend embracing the nerves, relishing the applause, and savouring the exhilarating rush of adrenaline. In the world of public speaking, every moment is an opportunity to shine.

Public speaking is not merely a skill to be mastered; it is a journey of self-discovery, empowerment, and growth. So, dare to step onto the stage, embrace the spotlight, and unleash the power of your voice. The world is waiting to hear your story. If you need help, consider applying to work with me in private coaching.