I once met a woman who was so gracious in the ways she responded to people’s compliments and offerings of gifts that it made them want to give to her even more.
We crossed paths about 16 years ago. She had dark mysterious eyes, an exotic Indian name, and radiated an inner beauty unlike anyone I’d encountered before. I couldn’t stop looking at her. I was in awe, and a little bit scared. In her presence, I felt more like a little girl than a woman.
I hope I never forget her. Watching how she behaved taught me a thing or two about a) being a woman, and b) the art of receiving.
In my powerful speaking programs, something happens every single time that causes me to raise my voice and say, “No, no, no!” And then, “Go back and do it again!”
It’s this: After delivering a brilliant talk, directly and powerfully straight from the heart, that leaves audience members marvelling and longing to clap loudly to show their appreciation, each woman walks away.
She just walks away, off the stage, right back to her seat. She might pick up her notes first, and fuss around to sort them out. She might look down at the floor. Then she just walks away. As quickly as she can, because, goddess forbid, someone – perhaps hundreds, maybe even thousands of people – want to express their appreciation to her for sharing her unique brand of wisdom, intelligence, expertise, power and generosity.
She dumps a golden opportunity to breathe in the adoration and love being beamed straight to her.
She says “no thanks” to the big, fat “thank you”.
And not only does she miss out, so too do her audience members. Because they truly want her to know that they think she rocks. And their gift of honouring the gifts she’s shared is shunned.
Know this: When you allow yourself to receive, with grace and gratitude, you’re giving a gift as great as what you’re getting.
Most of us are terrible at receiving. We don’t want the applause. We don’t want to stay on the stage and inhale all those good vibes from our audiences. We don’t dare make eye contact with someone who might happen to think we’re pretty amazing, and perhaps even miraculous. We work our butts off to create and deliver something brilliant but how dare anyone say “well done” to us, let alone mean it. How dare they!
I’m calling this for the big pile of poo it is. You diminish your power and presence when you do that. Stop.
Powerful speakers stand still at the end of their talk. With two feet firmly on the floor, they wait for the applause, knowing it’s rightfully theirs to receive. They might smile. They might laugh. They might nod their head as they do it. They might stand there until the applause starts to wane. They certainly make eye contact and welcome it all, well and truly from the bottom of their heart. Then they walk away, full of all the goodness of a fair and joyous exchange.
When you speak to an audience, you’re giving them an incredible gift. Please, please, please allow yourself to accept their offerings in return.
You deserve it, more than you’ll likely ever know. Trust me.
Is it time for you to discover and speak your truth, so you can not only receive all the goodness that’s coming your way, but also be a powerful public speaker?
My brand new program for women to unleash the most powerful version of themselves and their voice is coming soon. It’s called The Story Temple.
Please pop your details in the box below so that you’re the first to hear all about it when I open the Temple doors: