I’ve been speaking for years. I was a high school teacher, after all.

But, I would never claim to be the “perfect” public speaker.

And, because of that, I often mull over what I say when speaking to groups.

I was recently reflecting on some of the things that I said during my teaching career and how, in retrospect, they were heard by my audience differently than what I’d intended — and differently from what I thought I was saying.

Here are some subtle shifts that I’ve made in my speaking — and they truly have made all the difference.

I used to say, “I am self-taught in ___.”

While I was intending to say that I worked really hard and successfully taught myself how to, let’s say, use Photoshop (true story), what my audience was hearing was, “I’m not qualified.”

✅ Now, I say, “I’m sharing this knowledge with you so that you don’t have to learn the hard way how to master this [program/content/etc].”

I used to say, “My podcast is unscripted.”

Truthfully, I have a script, but I rely on my instincts to guide me through the interview process rather than strictly reading from a script.

My audience was hearing, “I’m unprepared, this isn’t important to me, and I am throwing it together at the last minute.” And, they were also hearing, “You don’t have to take this seriously or be prepared, either.”

✅ Now, I say, “I rely on my instincts to guide the interview, so I may not ask you all of the questions that you received via email prior to this interview.”

These shifts have truly made all the difference in the way that my message is received — and in the way that people respond to me.

What are some lessons you’ve learned from speaking?

Swing over to our Facebook group and share them with the District Bliss Community!

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