Professional Speakers make it look so easy don’t they? As if they just walked right up there and started speaking. Yet, there are some speakers that seem to connect, and some that don’t. Do you know what the difference is?
Are you “present” when you are speaking? Do you know your voice, your intensity, your demeanor, your direction?
Do you know where your audience is throughout your presentation?
Or, are you on autopilot, letting habit dictate your delivery?
I had a surprising insight at the track into how an athlete thinks during an extended run and compared it to public speaking.
This athlete was working out by herself, she mentioned she ran cross country, that’s 2.5 to 7.5 mile events.
I made the observation that during her extended practice runs she could think about what ever she wanted. She looked at me, paused and said no, she thinks about her form.
I was surprised. Her “form?” It’s the same step every time!!! Every second, 60 times a minute. I wondered how could she could think so much about something so straightforward as a step. The direction of each step, moves you closer to the finish line. The strength of each step propels and gives speed, as well as provides stability. The distance of each step may require more energy. Each of those pieces combined provides integral ‘steps’ towards a winning strategy.
When we are up there presenting, our “form” changes every minute. Are we “in the moment,” are we thinking about our speaking form? Are we conscious of how our delivery affects our audience?
Each note carefully crafted, each glance, each pause, each hand gesture, each inflection; all ‘steps’ towards being present and engaged with your audience.
Take a lesson from a competitive athlete: stay in constant tune with your “form,” your delivery.
To your speaking success!