Secret to Speaking Success: Don’t Try to Be More Than You Are

By Sandra Zimmer

Recently I attended a workshop on Sound, Color & Vibration taught by Elias Demohan and Rafael Demohan.  Elias has been the most significant spiritual teacher in my life.  I have not seen him for many years as he now lives in Calgary, Canada.  The workshop was for me mostly a review of methods for self-transformation he taught me 35 years ago.

But Elias said one thing that electrified me and may make me freer than ever before to be who I am.

He said, “Don’t try to be more than you are.” This simple axiom for living goes against much of what is being taught and touted by self-help teachers, celebrities, gurus and communication experts in the last few years. Many are encouraging people to be more than they are, be more, do more, have more.  I have myself said this!  And I have also strived and struggled to be more.

We have become a culture of fame-seekers.  We have come to value fame more than authenticity. We think that celebrity means happiness, wisdom and success. We honor sparkle over substance. This shift in our cultural values has placed great pressure on people to try to show up as more than they are.  And that creates tension, stimulating stage fright and fear of speaking up.

Stage fright and fear of public speaking are rooted in shame, low self-acceptance and feelings that one is not enough. “Not enough-ness” is driving many of us to strive to do more, be more and have more. And it provides the deep vein of anxiety that feeds fear of speaking in public.

Here is why what Elias said is important for speaking and communicating in groups.  When we attempt to be more than what we are, tension is created in the mind and body. Underneath the surface, we are striving too much, pushing too hard. When we don’t try to me more than who we actually are, we can relax and be real. We do not have to know everything so we can share our true ideas, insights, gifts and talents. 

Without pretense, we don’t have to inflate or embellish what we have to offer. We can say simply, “Here is what I know for sure.” What we know for sure flows easily from our lips. It is what it is, no more, no less.

This week,  practice not trying to be more than what you are. I am already more relaxed today. Let me know what happens for you.

About the Author:

Sandra Zimmer believes that each of us has natural gifts and talents and a unique way of expressing that is compelling to others. She is the President of Sandra Zimmer and Associates Inc. and the founder of The Self-Expression Center in Houston, Texas. Sandra founded The Self-Expression Center in 1992 to help people develop confidence to express themselves more freely. For more information about her services, visit or

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