It’s really kinda strange. Seven hundred people? Not a problem. I can deliver a presentation. Two people? I get a lot more fidgety.
When I’m talking about something I’m passionate about, I find myself speeding up, flicking through things, jumping on tangents, even shaking ever so slightly. This is good for infecting people with enthusiasm, but a little more challenging for comprehension. ;)
It would be good to be able to control this so that I can match other people’s paces, and so that I remember to breathe. ;)
There are several aspects I can work on, and several ways I can work on them:
- Topics: The more I write or talk about a topic, the more comfortable and familiar I become with it. I learn about what I want to say and how I want to say it. Maybe after 10,000 hours of talking about networking, I’ll get the hang of talking about it. ;) I’m good at not boring myself, so lots of practice won’t be too much practice.
- Voice: I still tend to squeak when excited. ;) I wonder if voice coaching or lots of iterative feedback will help me bring that under control. It’s a good thing that enthusiasm is part of who I am!
- Pacing: I need to get better at putting in pauses. I can work on that by practicing saying things slowly and with more breaks between thoughts. Perhaps audiocasting or videocasting? That way, I speak more often.
- Vocabulary: I blog and speak with a conversational tone. It’d be good for me to be able to shift into a more formal (but not boring) mode as needed. =)
- Listening: I definitely need to work on pausing at least one or two seconds after people say things. =)
Someday, I’ll get to the point where I can talk to people at any level without anyone feeling nervous or overwhelmed. =)