For 40 years as a reporter, I came at my work from the heart. I believed in my stories. I believed in the facts.
I was always my best when I knew what I was reporting was a story that needed to be told and would help people.
It wasn’t my own business, but when I look back on it, that really was my personal brand.
At 58, starting my own speaking business, I wasn’t sure how to approach it. I was coached. I sought mentors. I went to conferences. I heard other speakers but have realized only recently, in the end, it only works with your heart.
You must believe wholeheartedly in your message, your product, your work…whatever it is, and that’s when it all flows and feels right.
It doesn’t matter what you do. It doesn’t matter what your business is. Without heart, without purpose, nothing works.
I went to a speaker’s conference once where I heard something so simple but it made me shift and rethink everything I was doing.
“It’s not about YOU. A presentation is a present; a gift.”
That may sound obvious but speakers focus a lot on their presentation, their story but if it doesn’t come from the right place, as a gift to your audience, it thuds. I know. I’ve heard that plunk, thud thing happen. It happens when you haven’t thought enough about what your client, audience, what your people need.
I speak to my college students all the time.
Let me tell you, there is no tougher audience than a group of millennials. They can smell inauthenticity and self-absorption a mile away. But they crave inspiration too, like all of us.
It took me months of thuds when I first started at Temple University 3 years ago, because of my own insecurities, before I just felt my heart open and started to give, hear what my students said, and understood what they needed.
I still work on messaging from the heart every day. I learn everything I can about where students are in their lives and try to touch that part of them that needs a verbal hug and inspiration to keep going.
We all need that, don’t we?
To practice what I’m saying isn’t easy. It’s simple but it’s not easy. It means being vulnerable, open to making mistakes and giving without fear from a true place in your heart.
I held a workshop last week for women interested in changing their careers. I was so excited about creating something I knew was needed and I could give. We were in a beautiful space I hadn’t been in before but it wasn’t intimate…it was open to another level of noise that made speaking challenging.
I thought it would ruin the hour I had for the event.
But, the room was packed, and as I spoke as loud as I could without screaming, I literally saw women leaning in like flowers leaning in for a drink of water.
And as soon as I stopped focusing on the noise problem, and connected from that place where you just give, it all was good. The noise didn’t matter.
What can you do in your business, your company your organization to make sure you are working/speaking from the heart? Where do things feel “false” or “untrue” to you?
That’s where the work is, to weed out what’s inauthentic in what you are delivering and bring forth a gift, from your heart.