Think actors don’t have fear of public speaking? How Katherine Heigl used her fear to speak from her heart!

People are often incredulous when I share my story about being trained an actress and yet having such fear of public speaking. But acting is a skill based on saying the words of a character, not usually your own words. In acting there is no need to reveal your own thinking, whereas in public speaking, you have to generate thoughts and speak them as yourself.

What actors do learn that is valuable to speaking is to stand in their bodies and feel their feelings in front of people! I saw a video recently sent around by a fellow speaking teacher that I want to share with you and comment on. This video is of the actress Katherine Heigl honoring Shirley MacLaine at an American Film Institute Life Achievement ceremony. You will see that Katherine is visibly and vocally nervous to speak in front of this group. Watch the video and then I will make some surprising comments.

What do you see when you watch this video? Do you see a beautiful woman who is nervous speaking before her group? Do you feel a sense of judgment towards her? Or do you feel compassion towards her? Can you see past her fear to the amazing act of courage she is expressing?

Here is what I see and notice and what I know for sure about Katherine Heigl.

1. She is authentic! She is committed to being who she authentically is in front of all those people. Amazing that she does not shut down her genuine thoughts and feelings! She does not pretend to be in control. Instead, she shares what is true for her in the moment.

2. What she is actually doing is standing in the rush of psycho-physical energy, high intensity feelings while she speaks. As she shares her thoughts and feelings of honoring Shirley MacLaine, she is consciously in touch with the energy that is flowing through her body. That internal energy is converting to power and passion and she radiates a presence that is palpable. You can’t take your eyes off of her because she is shining.

3. Here is what will happen for Katherine in the near future. She will never again feel the intensity of fear about speaking because she has taken the risk to be authentic and opened the flood of spiritual energy. Because she has been able to stay present for her feelings and share them genuinely in front of an important group, she had opened a channel for greater flow of spiritual energy in her body. It will not be scary in the future. She will have healed a big chunk of her fear!

If you would like to learn to transform your fear of speaking in a safe group rather than in front of important audiences, take a look at all we have to offer at .

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