Maybe we should refer to this as the “p” word…purpose vs. pressure. When it comes to public speaking, it’s a significant advantage to shift away from pressure and move toward purpose. Why you ask? Good question.

Having coached clients for the last two decades, I find it’s extremely common for most people to speak under pressure. The problem with this is it creates a high degree of stress which negatively impacts the ability to communicate. Probably not surprising to you and maybe this applies to you too. As an example, some of us are speaking because it is a job requirement, or a supervisor has asked us to fill in or a client or prospect expects it from us. When these situations are the root cause of our speaking, it puts us in an awkward position and we’re unlikely to succeed. The motivation is coming from the wrong source. This will typically yield fear of speaking.

Conversely, having a purpose is a far more desirable scenario. A purpose may include: offering a possible solution, answering questions, accepting an award or perhaps introducing someone. Of course it’s possible to feel pressured by this type of purpose but the focus is quite different.

Let’s shed more light on this issue by considering these questions:
1. Are you obligated to speak or did you volunteer?
2. Are you dwelling on coming across as inconsistent with who you truly are or are you being authentic?
3. Are you procrastinating about getting started or are you excited to dive in?
4. Are you trying to figure out what’s expected of you or do you have a relevant message to convey?
5. Do you feel disconnected with your message or does it resonate with you and your belief system?

As a speaker, you may feel some pressure, however you also want to recognize a genuine purpose underlying your words. Remember that having a purpose will have a positive impact on your listeners and what you say will stick with them. They’re much more likely to believe you.

If you’re stuck figuring out if you’re speaking as a result of pressure or purpose, I’m here to help so feel free to contact me. After all, there may be a purpose that’s yet to be revealed.