It has always been a dream of mine to be a public speaker. While for some people speaking in front of a group is enough to give them hives, I find that derive a lot of my energy from presenting to a group.
Particularly when I am speaking about finding work that you love.
I am a big believer in manifesting what you want by focusing your thoughts on the outcome you want to achieve. In tandem, I believe in taking any small steps you can towards that outcome.
It’s the double whammy approach.
And time and time again I have seen it work in my life.
When it comes to public speaking, I have seen myself in front of a room of 500 people. I have seen myself speaking at retreats in gorgeous settings. I have seen myself speaking on TV reaching out to large audiences.
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to speak at the Haas Business SchoolWomen in Leadership Conference on a panel discussing how to find your purpose. (coincidence??)
In preparation, I enlisted the help of the best. Holistic performance coach, Loryn Barbeau. She uses yoga and ayruveda to take people’s performance to the next level. I thought I’d share my experience with all of you so that it could potentially help you as well.
Let me begin by saying that Loryn is very special, she has such a deep knowledge of holistic tools to help achieve balance. Just being around her, I feel as though she is almost psychic and has incredible powers. The first thing she did was have me do a mock presentation. At first I felt nervous, silly really. I tried to imagine myself speaking to a room full of people as opposed to an empty living room with just her there. As my presentation went on, I channeled my high school drama training and stepped into it.
Loryn stopped me about mid-way through and had me sit down for feedback. She told me that since my main dosha is Vata (we had discovered this a few months ago), I have a tendency to be quick and lively in my thoughts and actions. I have an airiness or lightness to my movements. (Also indicative of my astrological sign Aquarius)
How this manifests itself in my public speaking is that I can lack in being grounded. Which means that I talk quickly and jump from one thought to the other excitedly. And physically I am lighter in my stance. What is missing is two feet planted firmly on the ground. Thoughts that are succinctly and directly spoken with intention. Pauses between thoughts to allow my words to register with the audience.
I also tend to use “um” in between thoughts. Instead she asked me to pause. Let the words I speak settle with the audience.
We then moved into the food side of preparing for presenting. She began in talking about the best teas for me to drink. Because I have a lot of Pitta in me which represents fire, she recommended that I drink mint tea which is calming and cools the fire inside of me. She also talked about licorice as a performer’s elixir. It is a lotion for dryness and a “blanket for nerves”. She said it is also a harmonizer herb that mixes well with anything. You can find all of these teas at the store or steep them yourself.
For breakfast, she recommended that I stay with warm and mushy breakfasts, especially on a cold morning. Because I am Vata, I tend to be more on the dry side so it is important for me to hydrate myself both in liquids as well as in the foods that I eat. Flax seed oil will moisten and hydrate my cells. Drizzling raw olive oil on sandwiches.
We then moved into meditation. I have recently just started meditating. It is something I have always wanted to do but never really knew how to do it. Until I heard Oprah say to start by meditating for one minute per day. I thought to myself, “one minute? I can do that.” And so I started with one minute.
Before I go to bed, I close my eyes and focus on my breath. Then I read at Tiny Buddha to count to 100. That felt like something I could hang my hat on. Now I am up to about 4-5 minutes per day and I have really noticed a difference in how it has quieted my mind and allowed me to fall asleep easier at night.
Loryn gave me another meditation that is grounding/calming where I use the sanksrit words “So Hum” which translates to “I am That”. When I breathe in, I think “So” and when I breathe out I think “Hum”. She explained the breath naturally makes these sounds when we breathe in and out. Try it.
My next session with Loryn will be a session of customized yoga and meditation for me. I can’t wait.
I think one of the best things about understanding how focusing my thoughts to get what I want is the people that I have attracted into my life. They have been like magnets to me. I’ve been training my brain to operate at a certain frequency (all with A LOT of scientific and spiritual research) and have seen what has come my way as a result. It is pretty mind blowing.
As an update, my presentation at Haas went really well (at least I think it did!) and as I later told Loryn, I was more concerned with the content of what I was presenting than I was with how I was presenting. She prepared me well.
Have you experienced any of the above in public speaking? What has worked for you?