Everyone is scared of public speaking. Anyone who has ever been on a stage can tell you that. It's for this reason that those who overcome their fears are respected, admired and most importantly… heard. We have good news - everybody can learn public speaking.
We, especially women*, need to be louder, bolder and more ambitious to realise the full potential of our ideas, visions and dreams. Public speaking can be a powerful tool for empowering women to take leadership and become a driver for positive change - both within themselves and society as a whole.
Our name - Oratore - originates from the dialogue De Oratore by Cicero, in which he describes the ideal orator. Even two thousand years ago he already understood the power of spoken word. It's still true today - public speaking is one of the most powerful tools for persuading, inspiring and creating a positive impact.
*For both historical and social reasons it’s often women who are the ones to experience a fear of public speaking. Many of us have been raised to be quiet and polite - to be overachievers who always do everything perfectly, and look flawless while doing it. Public speaking embodies everything we are most afraid of: the possibility of making mistakes in front of others, being misunderstood, disagreed with, or even worse, that others will realise we're not that perfect after all. This fear unfortunately kills many great ideas and initiatives. Ideas are only heard when we talk about them, and if we overcome our fear and express them out loud in front of an audience - they will believe us.
The Oratore platform was founded by reputation management and public relations professional with more than 20 years of experience Dagnija Lejiņa, and business coach, HR consultant and the author of books like “Yoga and Selling” and “How to Achieve Success in Latvia” Laura Vanaga-Mickeviča.
Both of us have our own story about public speaking. About fear. Neither of us were born a natural orator. In reality, it was the very opposite. Dagnija stuttered as a child, and this fear of failure and unpronounceable words kept her quiet and feeling standoffish. In the end her stubbornness won. Continually practicing public speaking with recitation groups, she regained her courage to speak in front of an audience.
Laura played the violin and piano from an early age, and performed complicated compositions in concerts. However, when asked to speak publicly and express her own thoughts on stage later in life, she was overrun by crippling stage fright. Nevertheless, through preparation, preparation and more preparation for each presentation, the panic slowly turned into adrenaline, and the fear into pleasant excitement.
Both of us have a story about overcoming this fear. Just as with skydiving, climbing a mountain to the highest peak or holding a spider, public speaking can also be a cathartic moment of self-discovery. We've experienced it first hand, and we know that practicing public speaking while using coaching techniques can lead you to higher self-esteem, drive and trust in your own abilities. Everyone has the potential within us to outwardly present our best selves, but it's the decision to act on it that matters.
It's not possible to change the world while sitting in the corner by yourself. We waste a lot of time giving in to fear and creating disaster scenarios in our heads. Humility must be eradicated for fear to be overcome. The spotlight of a stage is just another challenge we must take on. It's not easy, but we can help you can get prepared.