In addition to being a coach and a movement aficionado, I am also a certified Facilitator with Speaking Circles® International. Speaking Circles provide a place for individuals to come and get comfortable in their own skin by practicing the skill of “being with" other like-minded individuals. One of Speaking Circles mottoes is "There is easy going in the not knowing," which participants explore in every Circle. Read on to learn more about this transformational modality that will help you take your first step in conquering your fear of public speaking!
What benefits can i expect from Speaking Circles?
After all, you might be thinking, “If I’m going to get up and stand in front of a group of strangers, I want to know what benefits I can expect!” Speaking Circles transform the way people communicate, allowing them to create connection and impact, both personally and professionally. Speaking Circles focus on the essential first step often missing in traditional public speaking programs – the connection between the speaker and the listener(s). This relationship-based approach creates a supportive listening environment in which you learn to express yourself confidently and effectively through being fully present in your own unique style.
Speaking Circles are extraordinarily powerful, because they address not only who you are as a speaker, but who you are as a person. They will transform your beliefs, emotions, and perceptions and they will build your self-esteem. They can even become a great place to work through current life issues in a non-judgmental, supportive environment.
So how do Speaking Circles work?
A basic Speaking Circle is a facilitated small group that supports the development of Relational Presence to increase your ease and impact when speaking in public. With usually 5-10 participants, sessions offer an innovative and natural approach to authentic self-expression: being yourself, speaking without a script, being present with your listeners one person at a time, and receiving appreciative acceptance for who you are.
What does the term “Relational Presence” mean?
At the heart of Speaking Circles is an approach called Relational Presence, which is a natural capacity to be fully present, receptive, and at ease in front of groups without an agenda or script. Relational Presence invites connection with one listener at a time by establishing a sense of safety. The speaker and each audience member understand that it's ok to simply be themselves and that no performance is required. Relational Presence focuses on cultivating the potential for a connection between speaker and listener versus focus on content.
How is Speaking Circles different than Toastmasters?
Unlike Toastmasters, which is content-based, highlights performance, and stresses a polished end product, the Speaking Circles modality invites connection by establishing a sense of safety through which individuals learn to express themselves confidently, effectively, genuinely, and with ease through being fully present and grounded in their own style. Preparation of content is not necessary, so you won't have to worry about hitting the key points of your presentation or if your topic is "interesting enough."
WHEN AND WHERE ARE SPEAKING CIRCLES HELD?
Starting in October, Speaking Circles will be held the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 7-9:30 p.m. at 390 Diablo Rd., Suite 115 Conference Room, Danville, CA 94526. First time attendees, the cost is $25 for the first session. Thereafter, it is $40 per session or a package of 3 for $110.
Space is limited to 8-10 people, so pre-registration is required. Go to my Danville Public Speaking Meetup to sign up!
For more information or to register, call 510.693.0634 or email Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is Speaking Circles for?
I really do believe that Speaking Circles is a powerful experience for everyone, but if you are:
. . . then Speaking Circles is for you! Read on for more detailed information on what Speaking Circles offers each of these groups.
People with Stage Fright or Fear of Speaking in Front of Groups
Through Speaking Circles, people who suffer any level of anxiety around speaking, including severe stage fright and social anxiety, will learn to stand in front of a group and feel more at ease and receive the attention of their listeners.
Creating group support in a step-by-step process, Speaking Circles use an approach that is the key to gently dissolving fear of speaking.
All it takes to transform self-consciousness into self-confidence is support and the small shift of focus that can be practiced in Speaking Circles.
In Speaking Circles, we have found that whatever separates a person from his or her listeners dissolves naturally, including stage fright and other types of anxiety around speaking.
Individuals Seeking Personal Growth
Speaking Circles promote greater presence, connection, and confidence with groups and in all areas of life.
Speaking Circles allow people to more fully express their natural creativity, passion, humor, and storytelling ability.
Speaking Circles practice allows people to connect with their inner voice, speak from the heart, listen deeply, and transform their lives.
Relationships are enhanced when a person has the capacity to be present, to listen fully, and to speak authentically.
Business Professionals: Group and Individual Leadership
Business professionals are drawn to Speaking Circles for many reasons: to become more effective leaders, passionate speakers, or simply to be their most comfortable, authentic selves in group situations.
Speaking Circles help business people in all fields promote themselves, since the most compelling marketing is created from expressing one’s authentic self within a professional context.
The Speaking Circle approach allows leaders to speak so that people listen and listen so that people speak.
Professionals learn to speak with full presence, ease and impact, with or without a script.
How did Speaking Circles begin?
Speaking Circles was founded by Lee Glickstein in the late 1990s to address his own experience of stage fright. He began hosting Circles in order to reach individuals who had the same discomfort with being in front of groups. For more information on Speaking Circles, or to find a Circle in your area, go to Speaking Circles International.
"The confidence to speak in any public situation transforms your ability to be yourself in all areas of your life."