I have just spent the last two weeks in Kosovo working with female candidates for parliament preparing for a snap election being held December 12, 2010. I held a series of panels and workshops through the week to support their public speaking performance, creating strong, confident political candidates. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing stories from my experiences and lessons learned.
Many of the these women have served in parliament and some were running for office for the first time. These are all women who have suffered through more than 20 years of challenges including war. Although they were passionate, and motivated with a strong focus they still had difficulty getting their messages across. When speaking in front of a group they spoke in broad terms without using specifics. Instead of using specific and humanized details they used jargon which made their presentations sound cold and political.
This reminded me that we all face the same challenges. Although our situations, goals and language may be different we all want to communicate ourselves clearly, effect behavior and be heard. Knowing that you aren’t alone, especially when working with speaking anxiety and stress, offers comfort and perspective. Use your challenge to motivate yourself to overcome those obstacles, and make sure to ask for help and support.