When I talk to professional or smart people, I begin to feel unsure about my speaking ability. How can I fix feeling unsure about my speaking and still sound like myself?
We put people off when we need them to approve of us – that is not their job. It is our responsibility to develop authentic self-worth and that does not come from being equal to others. It comes from being just who we are – no more and no less.
In general, do not think about yourself at all. Focus on what you are hearing and notice what makes you curious. Genuine conversation is spontaneous and surprising, and we are all in our learning. Well-educated, clear-thinking people do not need to be impressed. They need to be engaged.
Listen for their particular view of the world, which comes to them because they have lived so differently from you. Listen for the quality of their heart, which comes from what they have loved. Listen for their soul, which comes from what they cherish about life itself. Then share truthfully from the well of your own experience and loving. If they are not engaged, that is just life sorting out who you do and do not belong with.
For tips of working with the voice and breath in such situations, read the entry called “Presentation problems due to anxiety.”