Find Your Truth: Impact Audiences By Speaking from the Heart
It's about passion, not money:
If I was here to make money I think I would have done something completely different. I think that finding the value of loss is what money is for me. That’s the reward.
When I see people who were completely destroyed, devastated, get back up and change the world, I can cry, and I cry for days because of it. That passion drives me on stage. That passion drives me when I speak. So I create scripts, and then I get up there and something happens to me and the script goes out the door and boom.
On the fear of speaking:
I think that when you come from a place of credibility, authenticity, passion, your core, soul message, when you come from there you will become unstoppable. You cannot stop yourself from shining on stage and engaging in such a heart-centered way.
I was preparing for a speech the other day, and when I prepare I sit and talk to myself. I literally transport myself to this stage. I literally daydream, visualize through it.
While I was speaking on that stage, in my mind, I thought about something. This is the first time I’m sharing this. I said to myself, the heart is the boss. You’re trying to make the mind the boss, you’re trying to make someone, a coach who’s teaching you how to speak the boss, you are going to fail on stage.
Listen to what your heart is telling you to say. Sometimes we pay attention to all the other people around us who want to tell us how to do this, and we shut this connection down completely. So even if your heart is beating you can’t hear it. My heart is telling me, Christina, you’re here to change people’s lives after loss, and help them become the superheroes they’re supposed to be because of it. When I step on stage I can feel people’s hearts. I can feel where they’ve been. If I can do it, being so afraid to speak, so can you.
So being vulnerable is also a very spontaneous experience. When your heart is ready, she will let you speak and share this.
On trusting yourself:
I think that when you’re preparing for a speech it’s about trusting yourself to be spontaneous. That’s it. When we prepare, and we are not allowed to hold a piece of paper or go through the presentation on the wall, so we don’t have anything to see, we are afraid because we don’t know if we can trust ourselves to deliver, period.
When we start trusting ourselves that you can pull this off, if you follow your heart, and if you just use your memory just slightly to remember the structure you created that you will kill this, that’s when we start becoming the speakers we want to be, when we trust ourselves that we can just do this like this, because we are here for this one and only mission.
On connecting with the audience:
Sometimes it’s about delivery. It’s about you connecting with the audience in one way or another. Whether you have a story of tragedy and whether you can make people cry, that’s not why you’re an amazing speaker. It’s how you connect with the audience, basically.
If someone asks you to speak and you are not connecting with that audience, do not get on that stage. It will not go well because you have to feel that passion and that drive. You have to feel like you are the messenger with a very important message, and when you don’t feel that I don’t think you can impact them.
When you’re passionate about your mission, the people who you want to change their lives, you will emotionally connect. You will forget you’re on stage. All you’ll want to do is change their lives in that moment in time. Your ego will step out of the stage and say, okay, there’s no space for me here right now, because it is the ego really that makes us feel afraid. It’s what about me, what’s going to happen to me, what if I get embarrassed, can I pull this off? It’s not about us. It’s about them.
On audience participation:
I think everyone thinks they’re alone. Everyone thinks that their story is only theirs and nobody has experienced that. Being a part of such a large community every day, the number one thing everyone tells me is that this is the first time I’m realizing that I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Connecting through our stories, with not just me but with the person next to you, I think is key towards change. It’s about compassion. It’s about someone who understands where we’re at. I do it in workshops. When I have 90 minutes or an hour I can do that. When I have 10 minutes, 20 minutes, I have to look at them in the eyes when I talk. I go straight and I look at someone and I ask questions and I tell them raise your hand—"when was the last time you took a walk on the beach? Hold your hand up." You can see people shaking or turning around and talking to someone. Then I go and point to them. "How long ago was that?" I’m hearing them.
On taking risks on stage:
I have this concept about being in the waiting room. There was one speech that people didn’t know who I was and they didn’t know the concept. When I started using my vocabulary, where my tribe knows my words, I said, “So how many people here are in the waiting room? Raise your hand.” Nobody did.
I said, wow. I had to make light of it, because normally the majority of people are stuck in something. I had to make light of it and I had to say, wow, you impress me. Nobody here is inside the waiting room. Then I went and explained what that was. But I remember thinking, ooh.
You will have those experiences. You could be the most amazing speaker, the most influential speaker with years and years of experience. If you don’t have those moments then you’re not daring enough. You’re not pushing yourself enough.
On being perfect:
When you’re too perfect, people will not identify with you because they can never be you, they can never connect with you.
What does it mean to speak like a pro?
What a great question. When you just asked me this question I realized that I haven’t achieved the ultimate presence that I know I will one day yet. My definition of that is to be able to listen to the heart and get rid of the white noise around it. When we’re able to do that and trust ourselves to know that our heart tells us the truth, we will look like a pro and sound like a pro and speak like a pro and then some.
Top Tips and Resources:
Engage with a professional. Two or three years ago I worked with KC Baker. She does great workshops. She really helps you ground yourself and be in your body and stand in a certain way. There are certainly certain things that you have to become aware of yourself. You really do. In the beginning I would definitely say, yes, get someone to help you with that, but don’t rely on that. It’s about getting on stage. It’s about saying yes to speaking out there.