Ep #65: Lit Up On Stage: The Inner Game of Great Speaking

by | Podcast

It’s hard to describe that feeling while delivering a full-out, heart-centered talk, isn’t it? For me, it’s so full of love and connection, and there this overflowing fullness in my heart. My mind is calm but my energy is on fire.

I did NOT always feel this way. And there are still times I am less lit up than others. But now I know the feeling I’m opening into and it’s amazing to just know that it’s available to me as a speaker.

I want you know know just how available that feeling is to you as well.

In this week’s podcast, we’re diving into Part 1 of a new 4-part series called Lit Up On Stage. Today's episode is titled: The Inner Game of Great Speaking, where we talk about why trusting your inner guide to always point you back to what matters most is more important than any other strategy or technique.

I know that it’s super helpful for me to share podcast episodes with tangible info about how our minds work, the neuroscience of ways that we keep people's attention when we're speaking, how to move on stage in a way that feels both natural and captivating.

And while we are going to touch on some of those during this series, what I really want to talk about is the heart and essence of what you really want to tap into and what really matters when you're up there speaking.

I decided to create this series because, honestly, you are getting so much outside advice about how to be a great speaker and it may be confusing you. The truth is that you have an inner guide that will always point you back to what matters most. THAT’S the most important thing for you to listen to. Only after you are tapped in there do you want to go to others to learn what they think.

Listen in so I can point you in that beautiful direction.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to master the inner game of being a great speaker
  • The #1 thing that is more important than any other strategy or technique as a speaker
  • How to tap into what really matters when you're on stage
  • Why I disagree with people who say public speaking is a “performance”
  • Why listening to your heart matters more than being perfect

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Thought Leadership School Podcast. If you're on a mission to make a difference in the world with your message, you are in the right place. I'm Michelle Barry Franco and I'm thrilled that you're here. Hello, hello, My thought leadership friends. We're going to do a new series. I just had this inspired idea, well just this past couple of weeks and it's been swirling around this new series that we're going to do across the next, I think four episodes of the podcast is called Lit Up On Stage and I love that title so much because one of the things that sometimes kind of taps at the back of my mind as I'm creating these podcasts for you and creating other resources that I share is that it's not that they're not helpful. They really are like knowing the structure of a great speech. It's super helpful knowing that you know how our minds work, the neuroscience of ways that we keep people's attention when we're speaking, how to move on stage in a way that feels both natural and captivating.

We're going to even touch on some of those during the series. But what I want to talk about as the heart and essence of what you really want to tap into, what really matters when you're up there speaking. And when I say matters, I mean it from an impact perspective. So I do mean if you want to touch your audience, motivate them to action, you know, get their attention and their focus. This that we're going to talk about over the next four episodes is really where it's at now. You know, take what I share over these next four episodes and mix it in with the pieces that you've learned. You know, the practical application things that I've talked about. That's not to say that what we'll talk about today and across the next four episodes, is it practical? It is very, very practical. But really I guess it's sort of at the heart of it all.

And I want you to see that. I really want to show you what's underneath all the many little things that you can be putting your time and attention on around speaking. Underneath all that is you lit up on stage and then bringing these other elements as they seem fit as they feel right for you. You are the most important part of anything that you share in your business from the stage in a one on one meeting. You know, as you're just talking about it at an event or a party with family and friends, which sometimes can be the trickiest, right? So today in our lit up onstage series, we're going to talk about the inner game of great speaking, and I want to talk about this because Oh my gosh, I just can't, I can't even count the number of times that I see books and advice and blog posts and I hear things out in the world about all the things you have to do to be a great speaker.

And I know in a way I've added to that or it, it can seem like I've added to that like, Oh, now you got to know this. You got to know this. In order to be a great speaker. The truth is what you really need to do, what really matters is that you touch in, it's an inner game first. From there, any kind of tools or strategies you choose will be so much more powerful because they'll come from that place in you that knows it can look from the outside, especially when you're trying to learn something new. It can look like you have to learn a bunch of stuff, right? In order to be good enough at it to go do it right. You hear about learning curve and we know that learning curves are real because we've experienced them in different areas of our life, and so I want you to go learn things you know about speaking.

It's good to take in new stuff, but I want you to hold it all a lot more lightly. I want you to sort of to just do that research. Watch those videos, take those public speaking classes, go to the fancy public speaking trainings if you wish, if it feels right to you to do that. But I want you to do it from a place in you that has already grounded in knowing that you are on this earth to say something and that even if you didn't do any of those things, even if you didn't learn the exact combination of a juicy core message, which is something I teach and I find very useful and clients have found very, very useful. Even if you didn't know that formula or that combination, you could still have a really powerful impact and you can do that most meaningfully when you're tapped in to what you're on this earth to say to what you know your meant to say in whatever magical way that you have to say it.

There's no perfect refinement of that message and you know, and then you get out there and you get to today the whole world. Really where we learned the most is when you tap into what you want to say and then you go out there and say it and see what happens. I was on a call earlier today and it was someone else's group and I was just a member of the group and I was on the call and I was listening to one of the participants in the group talk and really the only thing in the way, she was really excited about creating this program that she was going to put out in the world and she's working on, she's been working on it for a long time and really the only thing that was in her way as far as I could see was that she thought there was a whole lot of stuff she had to do before she could ever put it out into the world and it was so clear that that wasn't true.

It was just clear from my perception that it wasn't true because she's such an expert. She could just show up on a call of, but not that I'm saying she has to do it this way, but one option was she could show up on a call of people who have said, yeah, I want to learn about this and then share about it with them and their lives would be better. She would be meeting the need that they were. They're trying to get met and along the way we'd learn so much about how to refine that message and say it better now. I realized this is a bit of a dance, so you know I am a public speaking coach. I absolutely believe that when you tap in and you really get clear on that message that you want to share, which is what I'm talking about here, and then you refine it and you think about your audience, you do some audience analysis, this is a thing to do, right?

There's a process that I apply to that with clients and it is really helpful. Here's what's not helpful. When you let, when any of us, let's, all of those many things that we can do get in the way of doing what we're ready to do next. I was just working with my coach over these last couple of days. I had an amazing retreat with, with my coach and she said this phrase that I've heard before, but it was just, just really hit me and she was talking about the difference between really being excited inside about an idea she might've said lit up and which is funny because it's a way, I've been thinking about it for weeks longer than that actually, but compared to a good idea, you know, what's a good idea compared to lit up. And then I was asking sort of like how do you see and feel this whole idea of being lit up and you know, how do you know the difference was sort of as my thinky brain was, you know, was swirling around in this conversation like all of ours does at times.
She said, you know, I guess you know, part of what I ask myself is what's mine to do and kind of like what's mine to do next. Not like what's mine to do, like my purpose on this earth, which is where my brain started to go. She was like, no, no, no. It's not that big. What's mine to do next? And when we're asking ourselves these simple questions at the center of the work that we're doing in the world at the center of our thought leadership, that's really where, that's really where all the juice is. That's what's going to carry us through refinement. Learning the next thing, maybe learning about audience analysis when it feels like it's time to refine the message in that way or when we're looking for, okay, well I'm not sure where I want to share this. Well then maybe the next logical, maybe the next mine to do thing for me to do is okay, how do I know who my right audience is?

And then there would be an audience analysis or some kind of audience exploration, right? But letting that inner guide really lead, really run the show. And I have to say, I am sharing this as a student of this, as much as I am a, you know, learning and growing. I was going to say expert, but I just don't see how that could be true. But someone who has, you know, learned to do that more and more over the last couple of years. But even in those last few days with my coach, I was noticing how much I tend to go to the outside and look for someone else to tell me how to do this thing. And again, not to minimize how useful it is when our inner knowing says, Ooh, I want some help from that person. That person seems to know what they're talking about. Just remember your inner guide is always the lead.

No matter what you're learning from, you know, whoever the expert is or how expert they are, that inner guide is what's going to keep you on track for yourself. And I've just seen it over and over again. Take us off track. I remember when I was in the early, I don't know, maybe first three to four years in my business and honestly this comes, has come up in the years since then. So, but it felt a lot more meaningful and important to figure out then I could not land on my ideal client. You know what I'm saying? I know a lot of people struggle with this and mine, like so many coaches and consultants. My struggle was do I work with individuals who are building like entrepreneurs or do I work with companies like in a corporate environment and Oh my, I don't even, it had to be years that I lost to trying to figure this out and going back and forth.

I shouldn't say years that I lost. I did things in there. See how our mind just gets all dramatic. It wasn't so much that I lost years as I really got caught up and wasn't out there doing as much as I could be doing in either domain because everyone in my mind, and I'm using everyone in this extreme language cause that's how it feels when our thinking brain gets engaged. Right. Everyone, all the experts were telling me I had to choose one or the other. I'm sure you've heard this too, and I recommend that clients actually choose an ideal audience member, so I understand why those experts are saying that. And here's what I'll also tell you. If you're my client and as my lovely podcast listener and all in between, you're the one who knows and you know now. Yep, I have corporate clients yet I have entrepreneurial clients.

I have found her clients, I have many, many coaches and wellness experts. I have an imperfect way of speaking to each of them and I have different channels for speaking to each of them and I just realized that my heart keeps being called to serve in these different domains and I just do the very best I can always coming back to, I know what it comes down to, which is for whatever reason, and I still don't know if I know my perfect wise story on this, by the way, I have felt for more than a decade that my calling, my job on this earth is to help other people say what they're trying to say more powerfully, not to tell them what it is, not to tell them they're saying it wrong, but to help them really find in themselves the way of saying it that feels as full and complete as they want it to.

Hello, my friend. Do you know that you can work with me on crafting your own thought leadership talk and putting a strategy in place so that you can get on some of those dreamy stages that you've been imagining for so long. We can totally do this together. I would love to talk with you about it. You can go to the thought leadership school.com forward slash speak to learn more about how we do that and then get in touch. Again, it's the thought leadership school.com forward slash speak I'd love to talk with you. Can't wait to hear from you. So you know this whole decision around am I going to work with corporate clients? You know, do I work with huge financial institutions, right? These are not people who are walking around trying to, at least not in their work environment, trying to say it in the fullness of their expression.

That's not the way they would describe it. So I talk about it a little differently there, but you know what? When I'm standing in that training room and when I'm sharing with them what I know about how cool it is to feel fully expressed around our expertise, even in our own jobs, to feel like we know how to say it in a way that impacts the audience the way we want it to. When I get to give that, Oh my gosh, there's nothing that lights me up more at these huge financial institutions. If I'm doing a workshop at a coaches conference, if I'm sitting with a client, it kind of comes down to that same thing, but in order to keep coming back to that, we've got to stay connected to our own inner game, our own inner message, our own inner message, and that's why I'm calling this the inner game of great speaking.

It really does. No matter what you're hearing out there in the world about how public speaking is a performance. Listen, if that's one of the things that drives me batty, public speaking is not a performance. Your talk, your workshop, your facilitated experience is the opposite of a performance. It is you showing up in the fullness, or at least this is what I want for you. This is what I believe allows you to feel fully expressed. It is you showing up in the fullness of what you want to say. Offering it in the moment with great connection when we're performing like you know, it makes me think of acting. It's like it's all about us. It's so much not about us. Now, the inner part, the inner guide, yes, that comes through you, but once you're up there sharing with your audience, it's all about that connection.

It's all about them. It's so little about you. It's beautiful. That's why so much speaking anxiety can fall away or at least can distance. A distance gets created because you're not there to perform anything. You're just there to serve. But it does start with a connection to that inner guide within you that knows what you want to say, that knows who you want to serve. That is not being following what the experts out there telling you. Like I was being told over and over, you got to work with corporate audiences. You'll never make any money. I mean, I found I could be as difficult to work with corporate audiences as it was to work with entrepreneurs, founders, coaches. Well, it, there was no, it would be as difficult or as easy as my own inner experience was seeing it as, did I say that right?

So just come back to, I know this can be maybe a little bit hard to wrap words around, so I'm hoping that you're just getting a feel for what I'm saying. You know, you know what you want to say. You may have had a lot of external input like I have, and when you have a lot of external input and you're used to giving it a lot of attention and a lot of priority, then it's hard to hear ourselves. But I can tell you from personal experience and because I've seen this happen with clients after we get to kind of keep pointing in that direction, that inner guide that you actually, that inner guide will get louder and brighter. That is where lit up on state happens. That's where it generates from. That's where no matter what happens when you're standing up there on stage, you're still lit up on stage because you've got that.

What is it? Inner fire fire doesn't quite feel right. It feels a little more sparkly but stronger than glitter. I'll come up with something over the next four parts of this series. So that's what I want to start with today in our lit up onstage series. It's just pointing you to that place in you that knows there is that place in you that knows underneath all that and when you just keep looking in that direction, ask the question, what's mine to do? What feels like mine to do from the inside every time I say that, by the way, I know you can't see me, but I'm taking my hands, I'm putting them toward my belly button area and like just kind of doing a little movement with my hands. Right? If you were to just kind of scoop in that doesn't really say it right, what is yours to do?

Just the next thing and it could just be writing down what you think you want to say. I'm not giving you that as homework by the way. That's just an idea. It could be that you want to go for a walk and say it out loud. It could be you want to call your best friend or your, you know, your partner, your mom, your grandmother, whatever, and just talk it through. It could be you just want to let it swirl around and sit and not think about it. Whatever it is, just look in that direction. Listen there first foremost and always come back there. It will guide you around your message. It will guide you around who you're meant to serve. It will guide you around how you want to take that message and your thought leadership and turn it into something bigger if that's what you want, like a thriving business or nonprofit or whatever it is.

It really is all in there and it does just start with turning inward and listening, so that's what I have for you today in our first, in the lit up on stage series, the inner game of great speaking. That's our starting place and I am excited. I'm going to talk with you about feeling connected to your content and your audience. We're going to talk about presence and delivery that delights your audience. We're going to talk about storytelling from that lit up on stage place so that you're not caught up in doing it perfectly. Because even with storytelling, even with things where you can get formulas all over the place, that's not really where the magic's at. So I'm super excited. I'm excited to be on this next adventure with you in this series. I will love to hear your feedback and reflections. You know, I would so love your review on iTunes. If you have a minute and you can give me a review, it'll just help the podcast come up in a search so that other people can find us. You know what I know about you, right? Here's the thing. You wouldn't be here listening to me talk about the inner game of great speaking. If you weren't made for this, you were made for this and I know that because you know that. So meet me here next week and let's talk about this some more. Have a great week.

Thanks so much for being here with me on The Thought Leadership School Podcast. If you want specific and actionable guidance on how to become a recognized leader in your industry, you can download a free copy of my book, Beyond applause, make a meaningful difference through transformational speaking at speaksoitmatters.com/freebook.


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