The biggest mistake you can make when you practice your public speaking skills is to focus primarily on how you deliver the words. What’s wrong with that? After all, isn’t public speaking about… well… speaking? Of course you’re going focus on the words.
It matters because communication is so much more than words and language. You speak to create a shared experience. In that moment, you want others to see what you see, understand what you think, feel what you feel.
Language is primarily a left-brain activity. Words tend to emphasize the narrow cognitive aspects of communication. So focusing on the words disconnects you—and your listeners—from the full experience of what you’re communicating.
You’re human, so much more than your thoughts and words. What about the deeper, richer, personal aspects of your existence? Ideally, you want to bring all of that to your public speaking. You want to speak with your whole being.
I think that starts with an ability to notice and enjoy the physical sensations of speech, the sensation of being in your body, the sensation of breath flowing in and out, the sensation of sound vibrations on your skin and in your bones, the shape, texture and quality of consonants and vowels.
Being conscious of these simple physical sensations, honoring the sensual aspects of speech, reopens you to the possibility of communication as an experience. Getting connected to your body brings you closer to your own unique personality in a very natural and authentic way, so you start to express more of yourself.
Start paying attention to the physical sensations of sound. Find ways to get out of your head, where you’re preoccupied with the words, and notice what’s happening in your body when you speak. Do you feel open or closed, generous or reserved, totally engaged or flat?
When you work with your whole being, public speaking becomes more than just saying words. It becomes human and personal, a relationship, with all the power and richness that entails. You will automatically be a more compelling and engaging speaker.
For more information and exercises to help you learn to speak with your whole being, click the link in the description box and enroll in the free video mini course, The Sound of Success.
Public Speaking: Feeling vs Words
Public speaking requires more than just saying the right words. It’s a shared interpersonal experience. That challenges you to bring your whole being to the performance, not just your brain. A body-based approach to public speaking will bring a whole new level of power to your performance.