Speak Eagle

The Place Between Panic and Rock Star

(To hear the audio recording of this blog post, click on the white triangle in the black line above)

 

“I’m not really a speaker; I’m more of a writer,” Jordan, a participant in my public speaking workshop, explains. Her dark brown hair frames her pretty face.

“What do you write?” I ask.

“My blog.  It’s trustingadventure.com.”

I think she’s adventurous just for coming to my public speaking workshop, “Faithful to Speak.” Some participants have bounced in with great enthusiasm, while others have crept in with great trepidation.

microphoneI hold up a microphone to start.“This microphone is a symbol. A symbol of something.  For some of us, it equals Rock Star. You love the mic, and you love to speak.

For others of us, it equals Panic. You hate the mic, and you break out the Pepto when you think of having to speak. So where do you fall between the two?”

The numbers are pretty equally divided. In fact, most of us admit to experiencing a bit of each when we speak publicly. It’s both exciting and scary all at once.

However, the two ends of the public speaking continuum are slippery slopes. On the Panic end, we fall into the pit of silence because of our fear. On the Rock Star end, we fall into the pit of pride, thinking we deserve our own dressing room with a bowl of only green M & Ms.

But what if we could find a healthy place in the middle- with a confident sense of self and purpose- somewhere between Panic and Rock Star? Where would that place be?

Mark 10 records the disciples arguing about who would sit next to Jesus in heaven. Jesus told them, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”

A servant. One who serves. Considers others more important. Conquers fear in order to help.

If we speak into a microphone with the primary purpose of serving others, we inevitably turn our gaze outward, shifting our focus off ourselves – from our fear or pride- and onto our audience. ”What does my audience need? How can I serve them?”

Our brains can’t focus on two things at once. So, focusing on the needs of our audience cures our pride and our panic, taking the pressure off and requiring us to believe that God will use our willingness to speak, our willingness to serve, for His purposes.

At the end of the workshop, each participant is given the opportunity to use the principles they’ve learned to give a brief talk.

Jordan takes the mic. “Years ago I got a tattoo right here.” She holds up the inside of her wrist. “A tattoo of Esther 4:14.”

She describes years of unmet expectations, of confusion, of a lack of purpose, of hating that tattoo. But just this week she was hired to write for Capturehope.com, a website that helps people in crisis. She has finally found her purpose.

She looks down at the tattoo on her wrist and then back at us. “Who knows but that I am here for such a time as this?”IMG_20140709_161647

We all are teary. Jordan’s inspiration has served each of us well. And she discovered she really was a speaker after all.

 

If you live in the Nashville area and are interested in attending my next public speaking workshop on July 19th, click here to find out more.

 

 

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