Three things you want to know about public speaking
Alongside life coaching, I have spent many years specialising in voice. I’ve learnt as much working with people to improve their vocal confidence as I have doing my Masters degree in the subject. These are three of my unique concepts that really help;
You have one job when you stand up to speak and that is to invite people to share the knowledge you are about to impart. Imagine then, as you stand up, you carry that knowledge with you in your hands. A gift that you are about to place in front of you, between yourself and your audience. Invite them in, to look, explore and discover. A gift of knowledge that each person can take away with them. The gift allows you to stop thinking about yourself and focus on sharing the knowledge in front of you.
2. The conversation
It isn’t a presentation, its a conversation between you and your audience. You may be the one speaking however their reactions, thoughts and engagement means that this is very much a two way street. Every actor knows the very same play will be different every night, because the audience is different. Forget about pretending the people there to listen aren’t there at all, instead listen to them. Allow for pauses, which will give them space to absorb what you are saying. Invite reaction, by using your whole self to embody what you are saying. Work with their energy and in return you will be on a level enabling them to tune in participate in the conversation.
3. The core
At the very centre of you, you harness all the power you need to truly succeed. This is your core. Within your core is a naturally low, relaxed breath that will transform you from a bag of nerves with a tense voice into a confident, flowing and engaging speaker. Take a moment now to close your eyes and imagine a situation where you felt truly relaxed and somewhat inspired. For some it may be watching breaking waves on a beautiful beach, find your own personal moment. Notice how relaxed you feel and how relaxed your breath is. Use this moment again, before you speak, to allow you to connect with your core. Doing so will give you the breath and energy to naturally power your voice. Tensions will soften allowing movement in your pitch and tone. Crucially your core will send a message to your brain, letting it know all is well. Removing from your mind any thoughts of panic and instead making way for a free flow of thought. Connect with your core for a brief moment before you stand up to speak and you will notice a very positive difference.
These three concepts open up the possibility of you becoming a naturally confident and engaging speaker. You’d best watch out, you might just start to enjoy it!