Theme of Podium Workshops

This series of workshops is designed to provide you with the experiences necessary to
be competent in the foundations of public speaking. the overall purpose of this series of
workshops is to help adjust based perceptions and personal meaning of public speaking
from fear driven to growth driven meanings. Basis premise is that the ability and talents
in public speaking are beneficial at many levels – from bolstering self-esteem and
freedom from social anxieties.

The focus is not on all the subtle techniques to hone as you develop your speaking
ability as a “techniques” based instruction might provide. Instead, it is designed to free
you from the fears that limit your ability to jump into Public Speaking exercises.
Once you have cleared these anxieties that block your ability to just stand up and
speak, you will be free to study the techniques to effect public presentations toward
becoming masterful.

An analogy that I like to use to differentiate this series of a techniques approach to
public speaking is that of building armour to protect yourself. When we approach public
speaking , starting with a fear of public speaking, and we learn “techniques of public
speaking” we don’t really deal with the issues of the fear of public speaking. The
assumption is that we are overcoming the fear of public speaking by mastering the
techniques. Instead of actually developing a joy for public speaking, we have insulated
ourselves with the armour of techniques – with a masting of techniques I am protecting
myself from what I fear rather than overcoming the fears. This is not real
communication. If you have every watched a presentation that was technically perfect
but something didn’t seem quite right there is likely a fearful core behind the techniques
working extremely hard at using the techniques to not be criticized.

What we are aiming at through these workshops is to overcome that fear and instead of
learning to put on armour to protect ourselves from an audience, we want to change our
perceptions about ourselves, the meaning of public speaking, and move into a place
where we can actually open ourselves to communicate freely with an audience. It is
when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable that we can really communicate. That is when
people trust us. In being vulnerable we also work toward changing our perceptions
about what it means to be perfect and the acceptability of making errors and ultimately,
if we make errors, we can laugh at ourselves. When we can do this, we will be with an
audience, effective in communicating with the audience, in union with the audience.
From this ability to connect fearlessly with an audience the process of learning and
using the techniques of public speaking becomes a joy to learn, practice, play with

General theme over all the workshops:
we create the effort and struggle in public speaking. Workshops take you out of the
internal struggle to provide actions to just get to it. A fundamental conflict within us that
creates a ton of tension and stress is that we desire the experience of public speaking
because of all the wonderful experiences, rewards and ongoing growth expereince thatit offers and the emotional fear that we build into the meaning of public speaking. Some
people beleive that fear is good because it causes us to work harder, but the opposite is
true. Working driven by avoidance is like trying to drive a car with one foot fully pushing
the accellerator and the other foot pushing the brake. it is the internal conflict of wanting
the benefits while wanting to escape the dangerous event. We can change the meaning
of public speaking to something fully desireable and you will be just as driven, maybe
even more, than when working hard driven by fear. Except, driven by the desire to grow
in skill, in confidence, in effectiveness will make learning whatever techniques you need
to learn much more

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