There is something magical about watching someone speak about a topic they are passionate about.
Regardless of whether they are well-versed or experienced in the art of speaking or not, if there is passion attached to their words then they become nothing short of remarkable when formed into sentences that touch the hearts and minds of those who listen.
I’ve had the privilege to see natural born speakers, and other more timid speakers put themselves out there, and the results are remarkable each time.
Earlier this year, I chose my young nephew to open a gallery exhibition where my work and the work of photography artist, Karen Visser, was featured.
My nephew also asked me if he could feature his own paintings and whether he could speak about them at the opening.
Many people would have chosen a well-known local artist, a dignitary or someone that society tells us is important. Instead, my nephew got up on a chair with my arm around him and spoke to a crowd of 60 people for twenty seconds.
And in that moment, by putting himself in the spotlight, my nephew gained the chance to be celebrated. Celebrated for his work, for his words and for the fact that despite his age (and height), he put himself in a position that most adults find difficult. And for that, I say Cheers to him.
When I asked Karen as to whether she would like to speak at the opening, she said no: “You’re the public speaker you can speak for both of us.”
This opening was also her moment. It was a chance for her voice to be heard, for her passion to come through in the words she would speak. It was her chance to speak about what excited her; her art. I’m so glad that in the end she changed her mind and decided to make a speech.
At the end of her speech she said, “Gosh, I hope that was OK, I’ve never publicly talked before” and then my nephew ran over, grabbed my hand and said to the audience, “It’s the first time I have done public speaking too”. Laughter and applause erupted, and there was so much love in that room.
No matter what your age, no matter your experience in speaking to audiences, you belong in the spotlight and people are genuinely interested in what you have to say. I know this to be true.
About the author Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. www.unknowntoexpert.com
Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business. www.cpcommunications.com.au