Speaking in public has always been love/hate for me. But a recent experience made me see things in a different way...
London Speech Workshop

How finding your 'why' makes all the difference on stage...

Up until a few weeks ago, I would say that while in many ways I loved public speaking, it also by equal measure, made me nervous. This isn’t necessarily common knowledge - I use our tools, and they work, and I’ve always received compliments on my talks, but I wanted to be in a place where 100% of me would love it, not just 50%. 

The part of me that loves it finds it thrilling to articulate thoughts that matter to me and watch as eyes light up and people nod vigorously in the audience. But the part of me that wasn’t a fan would wilt under the pressure of wanting to be great, and worry I may disappoint. Sometimes, that worry could get so intense, it would convert itself into breathlessness and mental fog. I imagine many of you have had the same experience...

About five years ago I joined Toastmasters to get more practice and work through my nerves.  Despite my worries, I ended up winning the first competition I entered. What was also interesting to me, was that each time I stood up to speak, people would ask me if I spoke professionally. Because I used our tools, they saw what I was doing, not how I was feeling inside.

And then last week, I did a week-long public speaking programme in Croatia, the culmination of which was standing up in front of a 100 strong audience delivering a talk. Again, I received amazing feedback, but this time, it felt different. I wasn’t so much nervous, as excited. 

So what changed?

Both times I used the tools we teach as part of the Serlin Method™.

Tools that help you to own your space, connect with the audience, make sure your point hits home, find physical and vocal range and nuance and make the speech sparkle.

But last week preceding the talk, was a six day immersion with a very charismatic and inspiring public speaker, Eric Edmeades. 

And it was really an immersion. Six days spent with an extraordinary human being who is living their dream life, from climbing Kilimanjaro (7 times) to running with the Hausa tribe in Tanzania and to working with his pal Tony Robbins. Most of all, Eric is on a beautiful mission: helping people live their best lives. 

And something happened over my six days there. The fearful side of me seemed to melt away. Much of what he taught crossed over with the skills we teach at LSW, but sometimes even if you know it, it takes a fresh voice to make it really sink in. When I look back on what moved me from nerves to excitement, I came up with the following. 

When we stand up to speak and people listen to us, we have a moment to share something true and important. We get to share who we really are, our values, and our why. As Eric said from day one, the clearer our vision and the more powerful our why, the better position we are in to make a real impact on our audience. 

Every day he spoke for around ten hours, and the focus on bringing your whole self to the story, making a point that really matters, and putting your listeners first so they get value, was powerful. A great speaker is not someone who is great at speaking per se, they are someone who has something special and important to share and they have the skills to share it. Simon Sinek has become famous through this very concept - “know your why”. And I can't promote it enough.

Once you have your reason for speaking, things take off, and it hits home. A talk, a presentation, a simple toast...it becomes powerful. If you as a speaker can plug into your why before you go on stage, then you can raise your energy and put yourself in a far more confident and focused state. 

So next time you speak, whatever the context: align yourself with your point worth making, your ‘idea worth spreading’, and let that drive infuse you from the beginning. Breathe deeply. Feel the energy coursing through your body. It's not nerves, its excitement. Because you know you are going to make a difference.

Warm wishes,



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My experience with LSW has been nothing less than rewarding, challenging and lots of fun.

Effective Communication Client

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