Alter Ego for Public Speaking

When Oliver suggested us to create “Persona” (or “Alter ego” in my vocabulary) for public speaking, I was teased and tickled. I was teased and tickled because I was already wrestling with the subject in another kind of performance–a dance performance. 

The first day I joined the dance class, the teacher told me that he saw something in me, something that those who are created to be dancers possess. First, I was surprised by the unusual thing I heard, but then decided to trust his judgment that must have come from his over 20 years of dancing and choreography teaching experience.

Coming back to public speaking, the day I first walked into my Toastmasters club, I had put myself into a circumstance of giving an impromptu speech on a business topic before I could watch anyone else deliver a speech. It happened all so fast that I didn’t even have time and chance to get nervous. I just walked up to what I had raised my hand for and shared my excitement for this hidden gem I had found not long ago, and that gem is blogging. Blogging for personal growth.

And after I got off the “stage” and had time to digest the experience, the sensations I had felt in and around me while speaking felt the same as standing in my dance class with all eyes are on me, when it’s my turn and I have to perform the freshly-learnt choreography of the day. In both instances of public speaking and dancing, I feel exposed, have no idea what is going to come out of me and all I can think of is “I am supposed to perform”, but have no idea HOW

Then one evening while cruising over YouTube, I found below video of Beyonce, in which she claims that it is her alter ego Sasha Frience, who performs on stage, but not herself… And that was the first time I associated the term “Alter ego” with myself and wanted to have one.

So I started to look up and around searching for my alter ego, and at some point “Phoenix” felt like the proper alter ego to develop. Having heard Beyonce talk about her Sasha Fierce, I somehow assumed that there is only one alter ego. But now I am thinking “Maybe there should be more…” 

Do you know why I think so? Last weekend I went to a Latin dance club and danced Salsha and Bachata all night and watched couples move to Mumba and Kizomba music (check it out here: And when I tried to call on my Phoenix, it just felt so wrong. It felt wrong because Phoenix is all about strong force and iron determination. But the expressions I needed to bring out in Salsha and Bachata were sensuality, playfulness and even seduction. So I thought “Maybe I need another alter ego for Latin dance…” 

So as you see, I am lost and confused when it comes to the concept of “Persona” or “Alter ego”. And if I was thinking I need to find and unlock two alter egos–namely Phoenix for Hip Hop and R&B dances and an unknown one for Latin dances, now I need to find and unleash another one for public speaking!

But if I find and unleash that one for public speaking, I can shake it like Beyonce, you know. I hope Oliver can help me and others. 🙂  


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