SOCIAL LIFE BUILDER. Whether talking to individuals or a big audience, you need to improve the way you talk if you know you lack confidence and skill doing it. I’ve met individuals who didn’t know how to talk to people and preferred living alone most times, until they discovered the strength to finally break out of the shell and start conversing with people. Their social lives resurrected from the dead.
However, people around them started to have a new problem–how to make them stop talking too much. Sometimes, you wouldn’t believe the talkative inner self hidden in quiet folks. Once that talkative creature imprisoned in them is released, all hell breaks loose. Anyway, it’s sometimes a joy just to see people set free like that and discovering their real selves and finally living their real lives.
Which brings me to my point–we can all improve the way we talk. God gave us all mouths, tongues, diaphragms, voice boxes, and minds so we can talk properly and develop our talking skills. Probably, we cannot all be popular or celebrated public speakers but we can all harness our talking skills to bring it to its full potentials.
Like me. If you looked at how I do speaking engagements now, you wouldn’t believe how shy, intimidated, and sheepish I was when I was young. If there was someone who direly lacked confidence, it was me. I was the epitome of low self esteem. I was convinced I would never be able to talk confidently ever. So I often stayed away from people and almost lived the life of a loner. Some saw me like a hermit.
But then I believe God challenged me when I started getting ideas about improving myself, how I related with people, and particularly how I could talk with them confidently. I suddenly had the zest for self improvement so I started reading a lot of books and practicing how to talk to people, and later, how to speak in public. Here are some things I did to practice speaking confidently:
- I watched TV programs in both English and Tagalog and repeated what people said, imitating their diction.
- I read newspapers and books aloud, pretending that I was a TV news anchor, reading and maintaining eye contact with the imaginary “camera.”
- I made sure I pronounced everything correctly when I talked, imitating how people on TV (or the DVD movies I watched) said it.
- I often talked to myself aloud or with an imaginary “client” in fluent English or Tagalog, pretending that I had to convince them to “buy” my products.
- I really looked for more opportunities to talk with people, make new friends, and I enjoyed classroom reporting, doing it as best as I could.
After years of doing the above, I later became a sought out speaker in sales and marketing and in church. When I talk, it’s like playing a favorite sport. But I also make sure that I talk just enough and never overdo it.