John 14:27 (NIV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
The audiobook Speaking without Fear was a very helpful reading experience several years ago. Communication skills were improved through the author’s suggestions and real life experiences. My real life experience with public speaking has been very interesting. Growing up in a Catholic grade school, students went to church every Friday and eventually did readings in front of the congregation when they were old enough. Through these masses and my First Communion, I consistently stated that I couldn’t read in front of people without fear, but they kept insisting I do it without any suggestions or guidance on how to. I had never done that before and broke down every single time.
Eventually, I became more comfortable with myself, which was mentioned prominently in this audiobook. In my later grade school years, God helped me overcome my fear of public speaking as well as other fears (heights, etc.). The more I considered and acted upon God’s needs and not my own, the easier this amazing process became.
I’ve now spoke in front of hundreds without any fear or discomfort and really refined this development when I was asked to speak at a telecommunications class at Bowling Green State University. Since I have cried reading in front of a church again, but it was for feeling of grief, not fear of speaking during the eulogy I delivered at my Grandpa’s funeral. After that experience, I felt I had come full circle where I could focus on God’s truth, guard my hearts and not give fear/anxiety any control in my life. I was always open to constructive criticism about my fears/shortcomings, but feedback that was opinion and did not reflect reality/actual events was ignored (gradually more quickly).
Speaking Without Fear also gave me new avenues that strengthened my oral communication skills. The lengthy tapes provided concrete reasons why people listened and why they should listen to me as I speak. Without consideration for the audience, a speaker cannot communicate effectively.
The information helped me want to shape my presentations with renewed knowledge and consideration. The more I listen to others and assimilate different information and points-of-view, the more refined I become while staying anchored in my beliefs/faith. Speaking is just one way of communicating myself to others, but it’s the most challenging for me personally. Thankfully I can now “tailor-make” presentations to any kind of audience with confidence that they will gain valuable information while interacting with the presented information.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler