If you’re like many people, speaking is mostly a matter of words, something you do with your face. But when you think about it, it’s little wonder communication skills become less effective under those circumstances. Speech loses its personal connection and your message loses its impact. What can be done to ensure your listeners see the real you and feel the true power of your words? Here’s a three-step method to get the process started.
Relax from the inside-out. Muscle tension anywhere in your body affects your voice and distorts your message, and just because you don’t notice muscle tension doesn’t mean it isn’t there. If your impulse to speak must fight its way through six layers of tension to see the light of day, what comes out bears little resemblance to your original intention. A relaxation program to help you identify and release deep muscle tension will make you a better speaker.
Breathe from the inside out. Everyone knows breathing is important to speaking, but few have experienced that feeling. There’s nothing like a full, relaxed in-breath to open your inner space and clear the channel for expressive, uninhibited speech. What follows is an out-breath. Sound and words flow out with breath. The only alternative is to squeeze sound from your body, creating distortion that affects the meaning of your message.
Speak from the inside out. If you imagine speech coming only from your mouth or your throat, your voice will be small, weak, and shallow. Your listeners will get only part of your voice and by extension get only part of you. Imagine and practice sounds starting in your center and vibrating through your whole body. You’ll be more fully engaged when you speak.
My teacher said real communication skills involve taking what’s inside and putting it on the outside, taking what’s private and making it public. That can be very profound, but it starts in your body. It’s that simple. If you can relax deeply, breathe fully, and be generous with sound, you’re much more likely to speak confidently and genuinely with your whole being. That will make a powerful impression on your listeners.
For more information about developing communication skills from the inside-out, click the link below and download the free booklet and video series, The Sound of Success.