Can you imagine a person who is unable to speak even two sentences together on a public platform can lead his nation to independence?
The answer is YES and yes, we are talking about Mahatma Gandhi who led the freedom movement of India and that too through his oratory skills and non-violent methods.
To elaborate upon Gandhi’s views on public speaking, let me discuss an incident that occurred in his student life. A meeting was called by the community known as ‘Vegetarian Society’ at a restaurant in London and Gandhi was to give a speech on the benefits of vegetarianism.
Now, Gandhi had prepared his speech well in advance and rehearsed it a multiple times as well, but when his turn came to speak in public, he panicked and was tongue-tied. He could barely manage to speak only a line from his well-practiced speech and drew a blank after that. So much so that some other member had to read out his speech to handle the situation.
Can you believe that a man of Gandhi’s caliber would have to face such an incident? Well, yes it did.
Later, the same shy and introvert Gandhi turned into an enthralling speaker and people from all across the globe would hear him in awe. His speeches did not have any sign of nervousness of his earlier days. After becoming an impressive speaker and a leader of the masses, Gandhi opined about public speaking: ‘My hesitancy in speech, which was once an annoyance is now a pleasure.’
Being a soft speaker, Gandhi’s voice may sound somewhat hesitant, but when it came to putting forth his thoughts, he was not at all hesitant on any issue.
This brings to mind an interesting thought. What turned a timid speaker into the fearless leader?
The obvious reason behind that miraculous change was his urgency to bring that change in him. Many a times we have seen that necessity is the mother of invention. Desperate times call for desperate measures that happened with Gandhi.
He saw and suffered the havocs of imperialism that led him in developing urgency to quit being hesitant and bring out the leader in him that would later lead the nation towards self-reliance and revolution.
Yes, he always preached non-violence but his speeches did the unthinkable task of uniting people of this multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious country towards a common cause.
It is seen that if your passion, your reason of doing something is strong enough then all the impediments such as nervousness, hesitation, anxiety fade away.
The intensity of your intent drives your performance on the stage. If your feelings are well connected to what you are speaking on the stage then you speak from your heart. You will automatically modulate your voice and your facial expressions would reflect your intent. This way you would connect with the public and become a great speaker much like Gandhi. Your intent overtakes any shortcoming in your voice or pronunciation.
It is the cause and your conviction that makes you face your fears of speaking in public and that is what happened with Mahatma Gandhi. He too faced his fears instead of avoiding them to motivate the poor, illiterate common masses of India to take the imperial forces head-on and that too with just his exemplary oratory skills.
Though it was not easy, but yes it is very much possible. Thus, it can be said that stage fright can beset even the best of public speakers. Just like Gandhi found his passion for a free India that it overrode his anxieties and fears of public speaking, so can you.
To overcome the fear of public speaking you may join public speaking and personality development course by Mr Anurag Aggarwal in Delhi NCR. For details, call 7834-99-9292 or visit www.anuragaggarwal.com .