In this series of articles focused on mature age Aussies who are starting their first…
At Your Age? What’s Holding You Back From Sharing Your Experience?
You’d think we may have learnt a thing or two over six, seven, eight or more decades living on this earth wouldn’t you?
Still, so many of us don’t have the confidence to share the stories of our experience, and all that’s in our heads will be lost once we are gone. Personally, I’ve had a passion for writing a good book for many years, and I’ve also felt a real sense of obligation to share my knowledge.
I’m a reasonably confident, articulate person, never short of a word or two. Yet, the great idea for my book has eluded me until recently. I’m a confident public speaker, and my presentations don’t always go to plan but I’m confident enough to rarely worry too much about what others think, and I take the opportunity to reflect.
I have deducted 3 key factors, other than the obvious lack of confidence, which could be holding you back from sharing your experience.
These 3 key factors are, that we don’t know:
1. What to write or speak about.
I was talking to a professional speaker today, and she reminded me that she had offered to speak at a National Seniors meeting on any topic. I admitted that my problem was in deciding the topic for her; I really needed her to be speaking from the heart and personal experience, to speak with authority and enthusiasm.
Choose a topic you are passionate about and have a depth of knowledge and experience with.
2. Where to start.
My daughter Erin had little difficulty in verbally expressing what she wanted to say or do when she was a child, but used to struggle when it came to writing it down. I would tell her to “Write the way you speak.” Get it all down on paper and then edit afterwards. Start with what you know.
Do what is easiest for you, try some of these ways:
- Record your own babble first, write it down, then edit it.
- Write down what’s coming out of your head first, then edit.
- Write some dot points and get someone to interview you and record it.
Don’t think about your audience until you’ve got your thoughts out of your head one way or the other. Often people say, imagine you are speaking to just one person and that person should be you; tell your story to you. It is other people like you who will resonate with your story, not some imaginary target audience. You are sharing for you first and others second.
3. What medium to use.
Do you like to write, speak, take photos or perhaps create videos? Start with the medium that is most natural to you. That way your focus is on telling the story, sharing the knowledge and getting that stuff out of your head and from the heart; you won’t be worrying about learning how to use a new medium. Then, think about other ways to share.
Where am I at in this journey?
How am I going with writing my book? Well, I’ve written a book, but it’s unpublished and sitting in my laptop somewhere. There’s some good information in there, worthy of sharing. I’ve shared excerpts of it but it’s not my passion; I didn’t write it from the heart. I wrote it from my sense of obligation to share my knowledge and motivated by the dream of upscaling and making money.
If you want a scalable model, that’s fine, but you should still start with your passion.
My passion is pictorial storytelling albums. I’ve published a couple of family albums, and I’ve helped others create theirs. My current goal is to create an album for a wider audience than family. It excites me because I can share my story visually and verbally and I can help others do the same.
I can potentially earn an income doing the three things I enjoy: writing, speaking and sharing my experience and knowledge. You can too.
What’s right for me may be wrong for you. Get into your heart, and find that one thing that puts a bounce in your step, and start there.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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