Imagine being able to speak with ease, joy and confidence in front of individuals and groups – sharing in a way that allows you to be open and be yourself with people anywhere, anytime. Whether you have speaking anxiety or simply want to express yourself better, Speaking Circles will show you how to speak from your heart and naturally connect with individuals and groups.
What are Speaking Circles?
Speaking Circles are gatherings of 6-10 people in which participants learn how to be comfortable and confident speaking in front of a group. Circles offer a very safe, supportive, positive environment inviting participants to relax and be themselves in front of others. You will learn simple yet powerful heart-centered techniques on how to be spontaneous, present, open and engaging with your listeners.
How does it work?
After the facilitator gives an introduction on the work and provides guidelines for participants on what to do as a “person up front” and as a listener, each person will have the opportunity to take two turns in front of the group. Participants are asked to simply “be with” people as they speak, and listeners are asked to be fully available to them using positive regard. Second turns are followed by “essence appreciations” in which listeners positively affirm the person up front.
What are the benefits?
When you participate in a Speaking Circle, you will:
• Experience greater self-esteem and self-confidence
• Let your fears and “masks” naturally disappear in a group
• Learn how to speak from your heart instead of your head
• Feel fully seen and heard in a kind, compassionate way
• Learn how to listen fully and give appreciation to others
Who can or should attend?
Speaking Circles sessions are beneficial for people who want to overcome a mild or severe anxiety of speaking in front of groups (i.e. glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking); people who want to be able to engage with others in a deeper and more meaningful way; people who want to improve their individual and group speaking skills; and people who may have a desire to do public speaking. No prior experience speaking in groups in necessary.
How many people typically participate?
Speaking Circles usually involve 6-10 participants. To give everyone equal time speaking in front of the group, the maximum number of participants in a Circle is 10. People can attend as few or as many Circles as they like.
How long does a Circle last?
Speaking Circles last 2 ½ hours, with a 10-15 minute break around the midway point.
What should I bring with me?
Participants are asked to bring a memory stick/flash drive/thumb drive with at least 1GB of free space on it, allowing the facilitator to save their video file on it. Video allows participants to see and appreciate themselves as others do. To ensure the safety and privacy of each participant, one’s personal video will never be shared with anyone else.
What does it cost?
The fee for a first-time participant is $20, giving people the opportunity to see if the work resonates for them. If they wish to attend further Circles, the cost is $30 per Circle. When participants attend five Circles, they get the sixth one for free.
How do I register/pay?
You can save your spot for a particular Circle by checking the Calendar on this page and clicking on the RSVP button for the Circle you wish to attend. Note: Pre-registration is required, as space is limited to 10 participants. You can pay for a session on the day of a Circle by cash, credit card or check made out to “The Speakers Studio.” Where do these Circles take place?
Currently, Speaking Circles in the Atlanta are taking place at Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta (near Midtown), at One World Spiritual Center (Marietta), Phoenix & Dragon Bookstore (Sandy Springs), and Decatur Healing Arts Center (Decatur).
About the facilitator
Eric Atwood is the only certified Speaking Circles® facilitator in the Atlanta area. He has facilitated Speaking Circles sessions and workshops in New Zealand, San Francisco and Atlanta since 2011. He is also founder and director of The Speakers Studio (http://www.TheSpeakersStudio.com), which offers speech and presentation coaching, as well as program and workshop facilitation. Eric has more than 20 years of experience in the communications field and has travelled globally, bringing a deep understanding and appreciation of language and people to his work. He is committed to helping people embrace their gifts and express themselves fully in the world.