Innovating Through Artistry

Posts Tagged ‘fear of speaking’

When communicating your passion, how foolish are you?

In Author: Barbara Kite, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Theater/Film on June 4, 2009 at 9:30 am

How foolish are you?  How successfull do you want to be in communicating your passion?

I have been seeing a large number public speaking clients lately and if there is one salient feature amongst all of them, it is the inability to embrace foolishness.

The fear of  looking foolish has a great number of  potential speakers stuck in mediocrity, sameness, safeness the land of boredom. 

This is how it plays -“I might be too loud, too quiet, too imposing, too animateed, too open to criticism, too wrong, too stupid….I MIGHT END UP LOOKING FOOLISH.”

This litany of negative thoughts grow stronger each time they surface particularly because  they are never addressed,  just accepted and allowed to become part of the speaker’s truth.

And the result?  The result is that we are then careful; watching ourselves to make sure that no error occurs, that no foolishness gets out, that no failure is noticed.  So we commit to safeguarding our authentic (foolish), human (error/failur ridden) self.  

We end up being serious in our manner, monotone in our voice, boring in our presentation, safe in containing our emotions. No music from the soul, no real connection, no memorable stories are given to the audience to take away with them to remember us by and to be grateful they came to hear us.

The choice is clear – bore  your audience or chance looking foolish. 

How to allow FOOLISHNESS into your life?

  • Give up on perfection.


  • Remember it’s not about you – it’s about the story, the gift you are giving, the audience


  • Stay present


  • Get out of your own way


  • Focus on the audience one at a time and make eye communication (not brief eye contact)


  • Trust you know what you know and don’t have to go by your written speech


  • Be ready to improvise, change with the needs of the audience


  • See the story in detail, before you say it (practe beforehand seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, hearing your story in all aspects)


  • Give yourself permission to fail- lose your place, make an error, feel under the gun,  BE FOOLISH.  All you need to do is focus on your important gift (the message that is going to make a difference in the audience’s life) and focus on the audience and listen to them


  • And most important address the negative thoughts you have before speaking – answer them with something truthful and positive every time they come up


  • BREATH, BREATH ,  BREATH (before you go on, while you’re on and after)


  • Remember speaking is like acting – it requires AUTHENTICITY, HEIGHTENED ENERGRY and GREAT STORY TELLING SKILLS

FEAR REVISITED – fainting at Nordstroms

In Author: Barbara Kite, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS on May 2, 2009 at 9:03 am

Here’s an assignment I give to some of my actors.

Choose a large department store (preferrable Nordstroms) and faint in the men’s or women’s clothing department (the opposite of your sex).

It’s easy – you just slowly fold your body down to the ground.

The purpose – because you’re afraid to. To put yourself out there. You live in a box and you don’t really know it (none of us know the parameters of it).

Because you need to feel vulnerable.

Because you need to feel in control.

Do something silly and connect back to the child, the adventurer that still lives in you. (Don’t you want to bring that energy to your speaking?)

Do something that is outside your comfort zone.

How strict are you?

How many silly rules to you adhere to? I wouldn’t think of fainting anywhere because “that’s just not done. It’s irresponsible. People would think I’m crazy if they found out. There are rules we have to follow.”

Are all of them necessary? Do they encourage us to be even more strict with ourselves, more boxed, hold on more tightly (to what?)?

How important is your fear, (do you know that the opposite of fear is excitement?)?

It’s just a way to get you to think and start asking questions about your freedom as a human being, as an artist, as a speaking artist.

Oh and don’t worry about getting “caught” by thepolice or firefighters or management and wasting their precious time. As soon as someone approaches you, start to get to your feet and mention something about “never going without breakfast again”. Of course it helps if you do this late in the afternoon. AND of course you have to be aware of what is going on around you while pretending to faint. You have to be very present as a actor and as a speaker.

I remember doing it and feeling in control of my life.

Let me know how it goes.