Listen to this remarkable speech by Benjamin Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic. Not only is Mr. Zander a conductor, but also a motivational speaker for business leaders:
About nine minutes into the talk, Mr. Zander describes a transformational moment in his conducting career, when he realized, "I don't make a sound....I realized that my job was to awaken possibility in other people."
What a wonderful metaphor for speaking!
So often when we get up to speak, we focus on the sounds we make, the words we say. This self-focus is what makes us anxious. After all, all eyes are on us, listening for what we have to communicate.
But imagine if we took the focus away from ourselves and saw our role as a conductor - to awaken the possibility in the people we are addressing.
This removal of focus on self might free us up to truly communicate and connect with the audience.