This episode is a special one. I’m talking about a topic that lies at the core of my speaking, my mission, and my life.

As human beings, we’re meant to live in freedom. There is a place inside each of us where we are free, and this can never be taken away from us. And if you’re listening to this show, what also lives in that place for you is the certainty that you have a message to share with the world.

In this week’s episode, I talk about why it can be difficult to determine what our message is, even though we know it’s inside of us. I also share The Speaker You’re Meant to Be Manifesto, which I wrote with all of you – speakers on a mission to change the world – in mind. (You can download the Manifesto here.)

I’ve also got an announcement: I’m taking a sabbatical from the podcast. I still love podcasting as a medium, and I know I’ll be back. But it’s time for me to make some space to get in touch with my own message and find the best way to share it with you. I hope you’ll join me when I come back, in whatever form that takes!

If what you heard here today was useful, you’ll love the free guide I’ve created for you at speaksoitmatters.com/yes. Sign up now and get immediate access to our Power & Grace Speaker’s Toolkit (including The Only Presentation Outline You’ll Ever Need). 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I believe all humans are meant to live in freedom, which exists inside each of us.
  • How the statement “you are not broken” profoundly impacted me and my message.
  • Why those of us with a calling to share our message can have periods of difficulty in determining what that message is.
  • That part of the work of life is to ride the ebb and flow of message clarity.
  • Why you should ask yourself what message rises up in you when you go to the quiet center of yourself.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Speak So It Matters podcast episode number 43. Welcome to Speak So It Matters where we share a mix of stories of inspiration and super practical public speaking and communication guidance to help you release all the barriers to becoming the speaker you know you’re meant to be. Some of us are called to use our voice to serve others and our world, as well as to become the most fully expressed version of ourselves. If that’s you, you’ve landed in the right place. Let’s do this, my friends.

Hello my speaker friends. This is a special episode of the Speak So It Matters podcast for two reasons. This topic is at the heart of my mission in our world, even more deeply than all of the others, and I believe it’s the place where you’ll find the most powerful momentum for your own speaking. Number two, it’s the last episode before a sabbatical that I’m planning. We’re going to put this podcast on sabbatical. I’ll tell you more about that and why I’m doing it in a bit.

Right now I’m just sitting in my office with my favorite candle burning, it’s called true malage vanilla peppermint. I just love it. I burn it many days in my office, it’s got a hundred percent pure essential oils. I promise this is not an ad for this candle, I’m not an affiliate in any way. I just kind of was thinking about what are some of the things that I do to nurture myself.

It’s been a really hard week. We lost my niece this week, and she was 30, and I’m just really sad about it. It also got me thinking really honestly about my own work in the world. I think losing someone young, close to us unexpectedly can do this. Here are some things that I realize I know for sure. We are meant to live our lives in freedom. That’s actually our human design. Most of us don’t know this, and we don’t know how to access that freedom that lives within us. No one teaches us that we have that freedom within us always. We can’t not, there’s no way to lose it. Nothing we can do in our lives can mess with that freedom that lives within us.

The most important thing I’ve ever heard in my whole life ever, we aren’t broken, you aren’t broken, I’m not broken. We can’t be broken, it’s impossible. After 25 plus years of personal development and thousands of hours of counseling, and workshops, and working through just countless exercises and practices designed to fix me, I heard that, that I can’t be broken for the first time about a year ago, and it hit me like a giant wave on a stormy beach. You cannot be broken. Do you know that? I didn’t know that.

As soon as I heard it, it felt like the truest truth, and my first thought after that was, why didn’t anybody ever tell me this? Here is something I’m going to assume about you that’s pretty special. You know you’re on this earth to serve others with your experience and expertise, you just wouldn’t be here if you weren’t in some way devoted to that. That’s what my work is about, that’s what the Speak So It Matters podcast is about. It must be why you’re here.

Yet, if you’re like most people I work with, you also struggle with that knowing. Sometimes it evades you if you can feel lofty, like bigger than you can handle. Sometimes it feels like maybe you were wrong, like temporarily delusional thinking that you were meant for this. Sometimes even though the knowing is strong, you feel like you’ll never ever get clear on exactly what you’re supposed to be saying, and why, and to whom it’s going to matter enough.

It can feel like the work of our lives just to figure out what is this message that you came to share. Maybe it is the work of our lives writing that ebb and flow of message clarity. Honestly, I kind of wonder if it isn’t the work of my life anyway. Yet in my quietest moments, when my mind is calm and I’m tapped into that place in me that feels like warm cocoa in front of a crackling fire in a winter cabin with snow piled outside. I don’t know, that’s the image of home that came to me like in this moment. I know that my message lives in me with absolute full and rich clarity and vibrancy. I know it always lives in there.

One day while I was in this kind of home state, this state of calm and peace, I wrote it into a manifesto and I’d love to read it to you. The speaker you’re meant to be manifesto. You were made for this, my friend. That call you feel to change lives and make our world a better place with your ideas and stories. That is your sign. Your voice is your greatest power to serve as well as your deepest path to personal growth and wellbeing. There is always a place in new of calm confidence, unbreakable, steady. You always have access to this place no matter what’s happening on the outside.

Your greatest self-expression comes through you naturally. You have a natural charisma that is unmatched and endless. It’s yours alone and that lights up the hearts of those you’re meant to serve. There is nothing you have to say, do or be that isn’t living within you right now. Some of us are called to share our stories and expertise, it’s a life mission at divine gift. You can feel it as a fire in your belly, and ache even. When you turn that fire into a light that brightens the world, that embers warm the souls of everyone you meet. You were made for this, my friend. I know because you know.

That pretty much sums it up. It’s what I’ve been saying since the first days that I surrendered to the work I knew I was meant to do. I wasn’t saying it like that, that came out in like all in a moment, a stream of consciousness. That’s the kind of thing that we have access to when we’re connected with that home place in us, that quiet place in us that knows.

There was this day I saw one of my best friends on the sidewalk in front of Devore’s Health Food Store in Bend, Oregon, and I said, “All I know is I meant to help people say what they’re trying to say more powerfully.” Honestly, that’s still the crux of it, though adept to it has revealed itself over time. Why does this matter to you, you might wonder. Why how these stories about me and my evolution?

Well, I wonder for you what message rises up in you when you connect into your warm center of home within you. What would you say in a surrendered moment on a sidewalk with a dear friend trying to sum up what you feel so called to do? That message you came to share, it lives in you. It’s dynamic and shifting like all human things, but it’s there for you. Because it shifts and changes, it doesn’t make it wrong, or doesn’t make your process … your process doesn’t mean anything. That message is dynamic, that’s how this works.

Now, I’m not saying you should go wrestle this message out of yourself, that actually won’t work. Believe me, I have tried that plenty. I say that so you can feel what’s true for you. Look toward this idea that I’m offering, this idea of home, this place in you that knows, and ask yourself if it resonates for you and see what might show up when you’re quiet and open.

A few weeks ago I got a text from a new client that said, “Wow, your book is for anyone with a mouth. This is not just about speaking, it’s about so much more”, and then she said a bunch of other things about that. Then I got a slack message like the next day from a really good business friend who said, “OMG Michelle, I love your podcast. I’d never listened to it before because I thought it was for speakers, and I’m feeling pretty good about my speaking right now and so I just have my attention on other things. What you talk about in your podcast is for anyone who has a message, and they want to share it in their business, and in their life.”

I’ve heard this so many times this year that I realized it’s just time to heed this ever growing wisdom, it’s coming from every direction. As you may know, while I love helping my clients share their beautiful stories and life-changing message on stage, it’s just never been about public speaking for me, not completely, that’s just a piece of it. It’s actually about helping you say what you’re trying to say anywhere and anytime more powerfully.

I’m going to spend some time discovering what that looks like in my own thought leadership, including speaking of course, and always, writing and of course podcasting which I still adore so much. What I know for sure now is that sometimes these things take a bit more time and space, that sometimes connecting into that place of home require some spaciousness in the schedule, which is why I’m taking this podcast sabbatical.

I want to be fully connected to that home place as I reveal the even deeper and more meaningful way that I can serve you. I will be back. I love being here with you. I’m going to miss you during this little sabbatical. I don’t know exactly how long it’s going to be, but I hope you’ll come back and hang out with me in our next iteration.

Meantime, we’ve got two gifts for you. On the podcast page you’ll find the speaker you’re meant to be manifesto I read in this podcast. It’s there in PDF form for you to download, printout, and hang it next to you, know that that was written very specifically for you. I was holding you in my heart when I wrote that. Of course, you can go to MichelleBarryFranco.com/freebook to get a free PDF version of my book, Beyond Applause: Make a Meaningful Difference Through Transformational Speaking .

You’ll also receive free access to the Path to Thought Leadership video series, which basically guides you through the process I share in the book. There’s so much goodness there. There’s access to all kinds of resources through the book resources page. Go get it, then get out there, change lives with your beautiful message on stage, in conversations, through your own podcasts or your writing everywhere. We’ll connect back soon. I can’t wait, I already can’t wait. Meantime, I am sending you so much love, and never, ever forget my beautiful speaker friend, you were made for this. I know because you know.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Speak So It Matters podcast. If what you heard here today was useful, you’ll love the free guide I’ve created for you at speaksoitmatters.com/yes. Not only will you get immediate access to our power and grace speakers tool kit, including the only presentation outline you’ll ever need, but you’ll also receive weekly updates with our best resources as they’re created. I can’t wait to see you out there shining your beautiful light and changing lives with your message.

Enjoy The Show?

  • Don’t miss an episode, subscribe via iTunesStitcher, or RSS.
  • Leave me a review in iTunes.
  • Join the conversation by leaving a comment below!