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Newsletter October 2011
Speaking from the heart
When I’m listening to and analysing a presentation I always make notes as I go along in order to be able to give feedback at the end.
A while ago a woman gave her presentation, rounded off, and then turned to look at me waiting for some feedback.
Feeling a bit stunned, I looked at my piece of paper, only to discover that it was completely blank. I hadn’t made a single note.
Her presentation had been delivered so totally from the heart that I was thoroughly caught up with the message and hadn’t given any thought to making notes.
Moreover, her presentation wasn’t even on an emotional topic, and was in fact an informational talk.
When you speak from the heart – on any topic, emotional or otherwise – you are much more likely to gain people’s interest, hold that interest, and have them engage with what you are saying.
Speaking from the heart means being totally present in what you are doing. It means being genuine. It means tapping into the passion and knowledge you have for your topic and wanting to share it with others.
It means forgetting about yourself, your nervousness or any other inhibiting thoughts, and becoming so absorbed in what you are talking about, that your enthusiasm for it has to come out.
Now, if you are at the stage of ONLY being able to think about your nervousness, being able to speak from the heart may seem an impossibility.
It will simply take some time and practice.
To begin with, first practice giving short presentations - on your own - on a topic close to your heart. It may be, for example, how you met your husband or wife; what you find wonderful about your children; an incident in your life that made you feel very proud; a cause that you are passionate about.
Give a number of these presentations so that you learn what it feels like to speak from the heart. If you only give, say, work presentations that make you feel nervous, you won’t have the experience of speaking from the heart and so won’t know what to aim for.
As a next step you may like to give these mini presentations to someone you know and trust – your partner, a friend, your mum, for example - so that you have an audience to engage. Present to people you feel comfy with on, a topic you have passion for.
You need to know what speaking from the heart feels like so you can start to recreate it in presentations in the ‘real world’.
As you do this, analyse what is going on. For example, has your focus moved from yourself and onto the message you want to get across? Are you enjoying it? Do you feel you are being real, being genuine? Do you feel you are being ‘you’?
As you foster and grow these feelings of speaking from the heart, you will come to realise the incredible power of being able to speak like this. You will appreciate the sense of freedom from fear, and the difference you can make by getting your message across in way that connects totally with your audience.
Upcoming seminar 'Reduce your fear of public speaking'
1st November 2011, Lancashire UK. Click here for details