On Saturday, December 10, 2011, I was invited to give a talk at Melbourne University with a group of young, proactive leaders who volunteer for a group called InterAction.
InterAction is a network of inspired young people from diverse cultural, spiritual & religious backgrounds working side by side to build a better world. An entirely youth-run organisation, we draw on our personal inspirations while coming together with others on projects of common action for the common good. We subscribe to the principle that acting collaboratively on shared values is the best way to harness the strength of our diverse society, for the benefit of all. By doing so we aim to replace cultures of conflict and competition with one of co-operation and peace.
The participants were very receptive to the Tales from Nanumea project, which dissipated any nervousness I had before the talk. It was a real great experience – standing there infront of an audience of onlookers – but one that I actually felt comfortable in.
After some quiet reflection, I realized that I am a lot more prepared for things when I speak from the heart, as opposed to speaking from a previously rehearsed script. Things flow a lot more smoothly. There’s a theory that islanders and indigenous peoples are a lot more “at home” when operating through their feelings, as opposed to their intellect, because of their geographic location and environmental conditions. This doesn’t mean that they are unintelligent, or incapable of competing with those whose strength lie in the intellect, it just means that their power comes more easily through the understanding and owning of their feelings. This might explain why creativity, music and dance come more naturally to them than others.
Understanding all this helped me alleviate my worries of being “judged,” since I was confident in my feelings, and had no reason to feel threatened. After all, what I say is my opinion, and everyone is entitled to their own. The point I’m trying to make is that, if you find yourself nervous infront of an audience, try speaking from the heart – you just might surprise yourself with your own natural poise, know-how and charisma.