Would you stand and speak or would nerves and the lack of confidence freeze you?
Imagine – It’s your last chance to speak up for your friend.
You have a burning desire to step forward and speak in admiration of the deceased. But you can’t move. It’s as if the chapel pew has a grip on your bottom. Nerves, fear, confidence, perceived opinions take hold.
This opportunity passes quickly – lost forever – and regret will soon arrive!
Just a few weeks ago my dear friend and mentor, Robert passed away and in order to pay my last respects, I attended his funeral service or celebration of life as it is now sometimes referred. The peaceful country setting and smallish chapel at Mt Cotton was a fitting venue to farewell this much-admired gentleman. I estimate the attendance to be around 80 with Rob’s grieving wife and sons seated in the front row and his grandchildren on the other side of the aisle. For the 10 days since his passing I had contemplated saying a few words at the service, if the opportunity was available.
Considering that speaking is my love and my business and the activity through which I originally met Rob, how could I not say a few words in appreciation of his life.
As well as this, he had been a true friend and a magnificent support in many different aspects of my life.
But would it be appropriate? Would the service be open to random mourners speaking up?
Would the queue to praise the life and exploits of Robert be too long?
The preacher quickly answered the first question by stating that the opportunity to move forward and speak would come immediately after the eulogy. Photographs of Rob’s many exploits, particularly sailing, public speaking, house boating and family and friends flashed across the large screen situated fittingly above his casket.
As this was not a long winded service his four beautiful grandchildren were soon presenting the eulogy with the obvious love and admiration they held for their grand dad. When they had finished the preacher spoke.
“Please come forward if you would like to say a few words in memory of Robert.”
And no one moved a muscle.
I was shocked – surely many of these caring mourners would like to speak their thoughts, feelings or experiences.
I stood and moved to the lectern and delivered my praises for a life well lived with meaning and integrity.
As I later drove home, I felt a great sense of satisfaction and I couldn’t help wondering how many of the people in that congregation would have loved to stand up and say a few words?
Why didn’t others jump up and speak?
I pondered this question as I drove.
I was extremely thankful that many years ago I had taken the leap, mounted the stage and become a student of Public Speaking.
This experience emphasised once again, the endless benefits of Communication Skills and in particular Public Speaking and the ability to present with clarity and confidence.
Sadly most people cannot comprehend the the benefits of mastering or at least becoming competent as a public presenter.
The benefits are so wide ranging – from simply introducing oneself to strangers to being on stage in front of an audience of hundreds.
Did others in that congregation have a desire to say a few words?
Of course they did.
Did some have a real burning desire to get up and speak?
I would assume so.
What held them back?
I believe there are three main reasons
1. Their lack of confidence in their presentation abilities
2. Their concern at the perceived opinions of others
3. And nerves and fear associated with the above points
If this article strikes a chord with your personal life or employment / business life,
we at Speech Makers can help you.
We work with people of all ages and varying walks of life to assist you in becoming confident and engaging Presenters and Public Speakers
We are currently offering free in house sessions “Introduction to public speaking skills” for organisations who see the advantage of good communication abilities for their people.
Call us: 0407105088