They say that public speaking is the number one fear; greater even than dying. And unfortunately the best way to improve your speaking – is to speak! this can lead to an internal conflict that makes you freeze up, or let the moment pass in silence.
We are going to look at a quick mental tool that helps combat this, called the 3 Second Rule.
Opportunities to speak abound. In the grocery store, during a meeting, at the water cooler. It can seem difficult to interject yourself into a conversation, especially if with strangers, but I do it all the time! If you have something relevant to say then you should share it and not let glossophobia silence you.
The 3 Second Rule
The Rule: As soon as the urge to speak strikes, quickly count 1-2-3 in your head then Speak Up!
The key is to be quick, as opportunities to interject can pass as quickly as they come. This quickness also builds momentum that helps get those words out.
That’s it. Simple and fast.
I don’t have a problem speaking up – in English. But I’ve become serious about studying Spanish this year. Living in Texas the opportunities to practice live are everywhere, but too often I let them slip by. Why?
Mental translation is one reason; figuring out what I want to say in English, then translating it in my head. The other reason is fear of sounding stupid. Which I think is a universal fear.
I let a great opportunity slip by last week, with gentleman who had lived in South America for years and learned the language, but had a distinct southern texas accent when he spoke. But I balked and the moment passed.
Learn From My Mistake
Letting an opportunity to speak slip by is doinng yourself a disservice. Not only is it a great chance to improve your speaking, but is also a chance to be heard. To say your piece and furtherr the conversation. Just don’t forget to listen afterwards too.
The next time you are in a situation and have something to contribute, quickly count 1-2-3 and Speak Up!